Money

Large cash rescue of restaurant trade on the way in which

Included in the $1.9-trillion American Rescue Plan Act is $29-billion for America’s restaurateurs.

The money will be administered and distributed by the Small Business Association.

“The cap is $5-million for an individual location and $10-million for a restaurant group,” Louisiana Restaurant Association President Stan Harris talked about how the $29-Billion in restaurant relief will be parceled out.

“The good news about this is, if you had a business that in 2019 did $3-million and in 2020 only did $1.5-million, they could be eligible for up to $1.5-million from this grant.”

Harris talked about how the government classifies the relief money:

“It’s not technically a loan, if the money’s not used it has to be returned to the Treasury.  But at the same time, it’s going to give those people that might have gotten 20-weeks of [Paycheck Protection Program money] on a 52-week crisis, to be able to sustain themselves a little longer.”

Harris says it will take some time before the SBA is up and ready to start distributing checks to restaurateurs.

“We do expect this to take 30-to-45 days to have the rules developed, to have the portal available, and the applications to move on this.”

And while $29-billion sounds like a lot of money, Harris says wait-a-minute:

“The industry, through January, has lost over $250-billion dollars.”

Harris is glad the relief money is coming, it’s certainly needed according to him, but he also says true recovery is going to take time.

“Until we get back to restriction-free until we get back to 100% capacity until we rebuild our small meeting and our corporate and association meetings and trade shows, it’s going to take us a while to get back to what our economy in New Orleans looked like in 2019.”

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