Boston, Massachusetts 2021-09-16 21:32:31 –
Boston (WHDH)-Over 100,000 bars and restaurants have closed nationwide since the pandemic began. Many others struggled to stay open and were promised government funding. But they never got that money! Investigate by Hank Philippi Ryan.
Since the pandemic began, the doors of the 7th district taverns have been closed.
Inside, the bar is empty. The pool table is covered. The TV and jukebox are turned off.
“I had a hard time keeping the lights on.” Co-owner Arianne Waldron says. “”We are in debt. We are drowning. The Roxbury pub is having a hard time finding money to reopen.
“”The bills are piled up in a very overwhelming way. ” Alianne says “How do you get out of this?”
Earlier this year, she and her business partners applied for a grant from the federal Government’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
The fund had $ 28 billion set aside by Congress to support businesses like Alianne, which were hit hard by COVID.
“OK, I felt this would be our lifeline.” Alianne says.
District 7 received a good news email from the Small and Medium Business Administration saying “Congratulations, the award has been approved.”
“We were ecstatic.” Alianne says.
The email promised to pay a $ 100,000 grant to the restaurant’s bank account within “3-7 business days.”
“”This money was going to save us. This money was intended to allow us to resume, allow us to hire workers back, and allow them to feed their families. ” Alianne says.
Arianne and her partner used an email and their money promise to get a bank loan.
They started repairs, bought employee uniforms and hired managers back.
However, two weeks later, I received another email like this:
“We are pleased to announce that the US Small Business Administration will not be able to pay the Restaurant Rehabilitation Fund prize due to a recent court ruling.”
“I soon got sick.” Alianne says.
It turns out that the same shocking notice was issued to about 3,000 bars and restaurants nationwide. The money they promised didn’t come!
“”Their immediate reaction was fear, despair, broken heart, and confusion, “said Erica Polmer, co-founder and executive secretary. Independent restaurant coalition To tell.
What’s wrong? When Congress created the fund, lawmakers prioritized applications from companies owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged people.
However, some companies have subsequently filed federal proceedings to challenge it. And the judge agreed with them.
“It’s especially devastating when you believe you have an award and it’s robbed,” says Erica.
The Independent Restaurant Coalition was flooded with calls from business owners who were already spending their promised cash.
“I talked to legitimately hysterical people. I had never been called by a crisis counselor when I was on the phone with people. It was disastrous, but it is still That’s right, “says Erica.
The fund then had to revisit all outstanding applications on a first-come, first-served basis and quickly ran out of funds.
It turns out that only 36% of the companies that requested the money were finally approved.
And now, over 100,000 restaurants and bars, including District 7, are still waiting for help.
“Suddenly pulling this rug from under us made us really sullen,” says Alianne.
Currently, Congress has a bill calling for more money to float in restaurants and bars. Industry experts 7-Investigate whether more businesses will close and more people will lose their jobs if something isn’t done right away.
For more information:
Below are links to some of the legislation pending in Congress to supplement funds and other legislation to support restaurants, bars and other food and beverage businesses.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports in seven surveys:
As of June 30, 2021, the RRF Program received over $ 72.2 billion in requested funding, over 278,000 eligible applications, and approximately 101,000 applicants for restaurants, bars, and other restaurant types. Approved by the company.
Underserved people received approximately $ 18 billion in grants, including:
- Women Owned Companies ~ $ 7.5 Billion
- Veteran-owned companies ~ $ 1 billion
- Socially and Economically Disadvantageous Companies-Owners ~ $ 6.7 Billion
- Underserved Enterprises Owned by Representatives of Multiple Populations- $ 2.8 Billion
The remaining $ 28.6 billion was awarded to eligible applicants who were not identified as part of an underserved group.
Additional financial relief is available: The SBA still manages programs such as Economic Injury Disaster Loan [EIDL], Target Advanced EIDL, When Supplementary Target Advance EIDL program. SBA administrator Guzman has increased the maximum amount that SMEs can borrow through the EIDL program.
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