Nearly a quarter of Massachusetts restaurants closed during the pandemic – a trend reflected nationally when coronavirus-era restrictions weighed on business – but when the application process for a $ 29 billion restaurant subsidy program was on Finally opened on Monday, proponents say: “Help is on the way.”
“That doesn’t mean we’ll have happy days here again, but it does mean we can get back on the ground and start rebuilding, from literally extinction to recommissioning,” said Bob Luz, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. “Help is on the way and the worst days are clearly behind us.”
Restaurants in Massachusetts and the United States have been asked to apply for direct relief through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund starting Monday lunchtime. The $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund was created under the American Rescue Plan.
US Representative Ayanna Pressley, who worked with other members of the Massachusetts federal delegation to support the US rescue plan, said the grants would “bring billions in much-needed aid to our local restaurants.”
“Our restaurants are the backbone of our local economy and are among the hardest hit by this public health and economic crisis – and this is especially true of restaurants here in 7th Massachusetts,” said Pressley, speaking of the decimation of bars and restaurants in Boston.
Restaurants and qualifying businesses, including food trucks, caterers, bakeries, bars, wineries, food stalls, and others, can receive funding equal to their pandemic-related lost revenue of up to $ 10 million. The relief does not have to be repaid and companies have two years to use the funds.
Businesses can apply for grants through the Small Business Administration.
Applications from restaurants owned and operated by women, veterans or socially and economically disadvantaged persons will receive priority for the first three weeks of the application process. Pressley said this “puts us on the path to a just recovery.”
Luz, who campaigned for a much larger $ 120 billion grant fund, said delivering federal lawmakers on a fraction of that amount “wasn’t enough to save the industry.”
“The need in Massachusetts alone is well in the billions,” said Luz.