Grubhub launches grants to help restaurants reduce stove emissions

Photo ET Rodriguez

Recently-announced grants totaling $500,000 will help New York City restaurant owners tackle an important but costly challenge — making their spaces more eco-friendly. 

The Grubhub Community Fund and the Greg Hill Foundation’s Restaurant Strong Fund have teamed up to award up to $5,000 to independent restaurants that need to renovate to comply with new Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rules requiring city restaurants to reduce carbon emissions.

Although the grant may not cover the entire cost of renovations — which often cost up to $20,000 — the funds could help alleviate the expense for every Bronx business that needs it, according to Lisa Sorin, president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

Only 12 restaurants in the borough are currently out of compliance with the rule, which went into effect in late April, Sorin told the Bronx Times.

The Chamber is reaching out to affected businesses to make sure they apply — and when they do, the whole borough will benefit.

“This is one grant that all of our businesses who need it will be able to get it,” Sorin told the Bronx Times. 

Coal- and wood-burning stoves, often used by pizzerias, contribute to air pollution in neighborhoods throughout the city. The new DEP rule requires stoves installed before May 2016 to be professionally renovated to achieve a 75% reduction in emissions. 

In an industry with notoriously small profit margins, the renovations are no small expense. 

But improving sustainability will only improve the economic outlook for the Bronx, which Sorin said is “aligned for total success” when it comes to small business in general.

“A lot of people were skeptical of where the Bronx was headed” in the post-pandemic era, she said, but certain areas like the South Bronx have “exploded.” 

Sorin mentioned the borough’s relatively low rents, new construction, zoning changes and proposed Metro-North project as signs the Bronx is prime territory for increased business growth. 

Although many restaurants have adjusted their hours and had trouble with staffing, new restaurants are “popping up everywhere,” said Sorin, who called East Tremont Avenue a “Restaurant Row” for the city.

“We’re on a path for full success for our borough,” Sorin said. 

Grant applications are due May 31. See to apply.

Reach Emily Swanson at or (646) 717-0015. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes