A feeling of relief for local restaurants as Restaurant Revitalization Fund applications open

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Local restaurants could soon see a hopeful step towards economic recovery, as applications for the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund started Monday at noon.

“If we can get it, we know that we can get through the summer and do pretty well and weather whatever comes next,” said Johnathan Gamble, general manager at Iron Gate Cafe.

Iron Gate Cafe sent its application Monday afternoon. Despite a couple of crashes to the website, Gamble says it was a pretty straightforward process.

“It’s been pretty easy for us because we have been doing these applications for the past like year now, so we kinda had all the information we needed compiled,” he explained.

Billions is being made available to restaurants who suffered financially from the pandemic, it comes as the New York State Restaurant Association says the industry saw about a $240 billion hit in 2020.

“We were able to keep going along, but it was really a struggle for awhile. This just helps us do some things that we normally do, like make sure we can bring in product every time we need to,” Gamble said.

“Took a little bit of a hit last year. I’m sure that whoever can get a hold of this money is going to be very grateful,” said David Bendel, owner of Pepper Jack’s, another restaurant who is submitting an application to the program.

With the applications open, the New York State Restaurant Association is urging owners to act fast.

“Restaurants should apply day one. Everyone should apply as soon as possible, because the money will go first come first serve,” said Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of NYSRA.

The association helped local restaurants with outreach, including hosting four webinars with the National Restaurant Association and the SBA.

Fleischut is encouraging those that may have questions about the program to reach out to the SBA’s hotline.

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