BUFFALO, N.Y. — There is no question that many small restaurants are struggling this year. After nine months of restrictions and closures, one local restaurant owner is doing something to help others.
Paul Santora, who owns Santora's Pizza Pub and Grill, founded the nonprofit Revive Western New York to help local restaurants stay open through financial support and assistance with marketing.
"An individual that has really put their heart and soul into their company and it's being ripped right from them, those are the people we want to help" he said.
Santora said the nonprofit will pick 26 restaurants to assist over 26 weeks starting in January.
Each restaurant will be given a special restaurant week, when they will receive help promoting food they specialize in and garner up business for that week. This includes a filmed segment to introduce the public to the owners and a gift card campaign to assist them.
"We want to go in like a restaurant week type of thing," Santora said. "For that week we want people to support that restaurant as much and as heavily as possible for that one week."
To qualify for the campaign, a restaurant must meet certain criteria. The applicant must own the restaurant, have been in business for five or more years, and must only have one location.
With three successful locations, Santora said he just wants to help his community.
"What I get out of it is nothing more than the gratification of helping my neighbor," he said.