âWe are enthusiastic about the restaurants. We want everyone to get money here in Georgia. “
Georgia Restaurant Association President and CEO Karen Bremer talks about the money raised from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. On Monday, companies in the food industry can begin the process of applying for grants with the US Small Business Administration.
This is a new funding pipeline made available by the American Rescue Plan Act approved by Congress earlier this year.
“There are a lot of individually owned and operated restaurants in the state, and I know a lot haven’t been able to get the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or maybe some of the other funding available,” Bremer told WSB. Radio. “So hopefully they will be able to get some money on this go-around.”
She says 2020 has been âworse than I thoughtâ in terms of the massive financial pandemic that has hit restaurants in Georgia. âWe were on track to achieve $ 25 billion in revenue, and we were down $ 5 billion in revenue.â Permanent closures – between 3,500 and 4,000 restaurants in Georgia.
But here’s the good news. As more and more Georgians get vaccinated, the demand for catering is on the rise. Add in the springtime weather for alfresco dining, and restaurants are doing what they can to accommodate customers as part of health safety measures.
The bad newsâ¦ at least for now: restaurants across the state are facing staffing shortages. Bremer says there has been a “dramatic migration” of women who have left the industry’s workforce, due to the runoff effects of the pandemic.
â52% of all our workers are women and 71% of the servers are women,â explains Bremer. âAnd a lot of women have left the workforce because of child care, and a lot of child care centers have closed.
So because of that, she has this request from the diners: âLet’s have a little patience right now in the restaurants. No one wants to be short on staff right now, and they are doing their best. “
New funding made available through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) enables restaurants to raise funding of up to $ 10 million per business – up to $ 5 million per physical location – as directed by the US Small Business Administration. If awarded, recipients do not have to repay the money, if it is used for qualifying uses by March 2023.
The portal for companies to apply opens on Monday, May 3, 2021 at noon.