Since shelter-in-place orders blanketed the country four months ago, restaurants have been grappling with the economic repercussions of COVID-19.
As an essential service and business partner to thousands of restaurants across the country, DoorDash has been busy helping our merchant partners navigate this ever-changing “new normal.”
Through early conversations with our restaurant partners, we learned that many restaurateurs, especially those running small, independent businesses, were finding it difficult to navigate the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application to receive funds necessary for payroll, utility, and rent expenses. For some of our restaurant partners, these loans were critical to ensuring they could navigate the crisis. So, we set out to find a strategic partner who could help our merchants, and especially the smaller businesses, apply for these loans.
Our Partnership with BlueVine
To make PPP loans more accessible to our merchants, we partnered with fintech leader BlueVine to provide a customized PPP application for DoorDash merchant partners. BlueVine provides simple, fast, and intuitive banking services and is among the top fintech PPP participants, having delivered more than $4 billion in PPP loans so far. We selected BlueVine because of their advanced technology that enabled fast loan application processing, day-of funding capabilities, and commitment to excellent customer service and transparency on program participation. While we recognize that this loan program may not make sense for all restaurant partners, our hope is that those restaurants that need it can more easily access PPP loans through this partnership.
Since the partnership began in mid-April, nearly 200 of our merchant partners have collectively received over $6M of PPP funding, which will impact over 1,200 workers. The large majority of the merchants are small, independent restaurants that employ fewer than 10 people.
An Emphasis on Small Businesses: One Restaurant’s Story
In 2016, Jazmine Lalicker and her sister opened The Shuckery, their Petaluma seafood restaurant and oyster bar. Like many restaurant owners, the onset of the pandemic in March meant that she had to operate in a completely new world.
The Shuckery, which previously didn’t offer delivery, made the decision many restaurateurs faced early on to remain open and operate through takeout and delivery only. The restaurant onboarded DoorDash and, as part of DoorDash’s initial commission relief effort, received 0% commission for 30 days, followed by 50% in commission reduction through the end of May.
In addition, Jazmine applied for a PPP loan through her bank, but she experienced difficulty navigating the process with the large institution. She heard about the BlueVine partnership with DoorDash and 24 hours after applying, The Shuckery had received a loan.
For restaurants like The Shuckery, a combination of accessing this capital and receiving commission relief from DoorDash helped to keep their doors open. It also helped Jazmine make business-critical decisions such as bringing back all of her staff starting July 9th and being able to invest in a new POS system to make her take-out business more streamlined.
From investing $120 million in commission relief and marketing initiatives at the height of the economic shutdown to the acceleration of new products such as DoorDash Storefront to help small businesses own their online ordering channels, DoorDash’s steadfast commitment is to help our partners succeed.
As part of our partnership with BlueVine, DoorDash is donating its small proceeds from this program to the California Restaurant Association’s Restaurants Care/COVID-19 grants program, which provides one-time financial support to restaurant employees facing unforeseen hardships, and the Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund, which aims to raise support for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, especially those run by women, people of color and immigrants, and DoorDash is matching those donations three to one.
The U.S. government recently authorized an extension for the PPP program until August 8, and BlueVine will continue to take and process applications through this period. If you are a DoorDash or Caviar merchant partner and are interested in learning more, please visit bluevine.com/DoorDash-ppp to learn more.
While the industry is showing some recovery, we also know that there is far more work to be done and will continue to prioritize programs, policies and initiatives that support restaurants during this challenging time.