Restaurant Revitalization Fund expected to help struggling bars, restaurants

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s a busy day at The Country Corner Cafe in Saratoga Springs. But make no mistake, the Spa City landmark eatery is still recovering from the pandemic.

“It’s been the most difficult year of my business career.”

And that’s saying something.

Roseann Hotaling has owned and operated the restaurant on Church Street for 30 years.

“I didn’t know if the business would have survived,” said Roseann.

She says, like many other business owners impacted by COVID-19, she received help through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program.

“And I am currently preparing my application for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.”

The U.S. Small Business Association’s $28 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund is expected to counterbalance pandemic-related revenue losses up to $10 million per eligible business. Recipients are not required to repay the funding if funds are spent on specific uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Uses include things like payroll, rent mortgage, food and beverage costs, and even construction for outdoor seating.

“The industry lost $240 billion in sales last year,” says Melissa Fleischut, the President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association. “But at $28 billion, we expect the money will go very quickly.”

Unlike PPP, which was run through banks, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is being handled by the the U.S. Small Business Administration.

There is not date set yet, but the application process is expected to open up by the end of April. Women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged owners will have priority.

But Fleischut says other impacted business owners should get their paperwork in order now.

“Pull together your income tax statements. If you don’t have your income tax statements done, pull together your P&L. Because, like I said, I think the funding is going to go very fast.”

As for Roseann, she says the program is offering a light at the end of a long tunnel.

You can learn more on the Small Business Association’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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