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Owners say feds need to replenish Restaurant Revitalization Fund: Lack of customers or staffing issue?

Restaurant owners across New York say they want to see the federal government replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Restaurants are continuing to struggle after the coronavirus pandemic. Now, they are voicing concern broadly about how many people will want to dine indoors after the pandemic.

Only 34% of restaurants who applied for the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund received assistance. The other 66% were denied.

“Those who got the funds, that’s great, we’re so excited, I’m so happy for them,” said Melissa Fleischut, president of the New York State Restaurant Association. “But we do need all the restaurants to get funded through that program so that they can make up for the losses they experienced due to the pandemic.”

Nearly $6 billion more is needed to cover losses from the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Staffing has also been a major challenge for restaurant owners. While business has returned in some spots across Upstate – finding a viable workforce has been a greater challenge.

For many restaurant owners, it leaves a winter of uncertainty ahead.

It’s unclear if the state may take up action to help send funds in the direction of restaurants.