BOSTON, Jan. 11, 2022— In the best of times, most restaurants fail. In times of a relentless pandemic, labor shortages, and skyrocketing costs, even many once-successful restaurants have failed.

Then there are those who hold on through it all—like the 80 women-owned restaurant owners across the Commonwealth who just received checks in the mail totaling $400,000.

The grants came from the Massachusetts Conference for Women, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing women in the workplace.

“We are proud to support these hard-working women entrepreneurs,” said Gloria Larson, board president and former president of Bentley University. “We also want to recognize women across the Commonwealth who have persevered in the face of extraordinary economic pressures and gender inequities highlighted by the pandemic.”

Joanne Chang, James Beard Foundation Award-winner and co-owner of Boston’s Flour Bakery and Café, praised the grants, saying, “they reflect the importance of women-owned-restaurants in our communities and lives.” Approximately 1 in 3 restaurants is owned by women.

It is the second consecutive year the Massachusetts Conference for Women has awarded grants to women-owned restaurants. They previously distributed $330,000 to help restaurants pay rent and employees, adapt their business model, or meet other restaurant needs.

This year’s grantees come from 61 communities across the Commonwealth, including Boston, Lowell, New Bedford, Southbridge, and Worcester. See the complete listing of grantees.

About the Massachusetts Conference for Women. The Massachusetts Conference for Women is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing women in the workplace. Learn more at

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