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Restaurant aid assistance program available for veterans and other groups

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 5:03 PM CDT
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COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) - Registration is now open for a new economic assistance program for restaurant and bar owners, and being a veteran or woman-owned business could get you pushed to the front of the funding line.

At noon on Monday, applications for grants from the restaurant revitalization fund will start rolling in.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, gives restaurant, bar and hotel owners cash grants to make up for losses caused by the pandemic.

The SBA is also giving priority status to any business owned by veterans, women, or otherwise disadvantaged groups.

Army Veteran Jeremy Fay served for eight years and started his own personal real estate business after retiring from the military. He says he and other small business owners who are also veterans are in a tough financial position because the last time there was an assistance program, funds ran out before they were able to get help.

“It was chaotic,” he said.

“I’m thinking of a guy who had a food truck that he had to sell. I feel very fortunate in that while a lot of people were hurting last year, I was able to continue to work in a smaller capacity. This is something I hope they take advantage of. There are a lot of those veterans still struggling right now that with this cash coming in, could be an entirely different business.”

While many owners are excited for a lifeline, experts like Lucas Loafman with Texas A&M Central Texas say the clock is ticking.

“Funding is limited,” he said.

“Every time we see bills coming up for more funding, some pass and some don’t. This has been an unprecedented period of spending, but despite it being unprecedented, it’s not gonna cover everybody unfortunately.”

More information about registering can be found on the SBA’s website.

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