The American Express Backing International Small Restaurants grant program has returned in partnership with the International Downtown Association Foundation and the support of Restaurant & Catering Australia.

The program aims to support small independent restaurants with community significance, as they navigate the challenges of the current economic climate. Additional consideration will be given to restaurants operated by underrepresented and/or economically vulnerable members of the community.

Six Sydney restaurants will each receive $21,000 in grant funding to invest in the ongoing success of their business. All small independent restaurants in Sydney are encouraged to apply, especially those who are anchors within their local community and are facing hardship.

American Express Australia and New Zealand vice president of brand, marketing and member experience, Naysla Edwards said, “Many small restaurants that are pillars of their local community are doing it tough right now and need extra support. This program aims to help alleviate some of the financial pressure they’re facing so that they can continue to do what they do best – deliver extraordinary food and experiences for their customers.”

IDA Foundation executive director, David Downey added, “We recognise the vital role that small, independent restaurants play in our communities. This program is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting these businesses and helping them thrive and succeed in the wake of ongoing economic challenges worldwide. It is an honour to implement this innovative work with the generous support of American Express.”

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO, Suresh Manickam commented, “This will provide much-needed financial relief to restaurant businesses across Sydney. We are proud to support a program that contributes to the ongoing prosperity of restaurant businesses and recognises the vital contribution they bring to the vibrancy and appeal of Sydney.”

This is the second consecutive year Backing International Small Restaurants has run in Sydney, with year-one focusing on the historic Rocks area. Sydney is one of five major cities involved, with others including Mexico City, London, Tokyo and Toronto.

To learn more, including eligibility and to apply, visit

Applications close 8 July 2023.