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Many restaurant owners never saw pandemic relief funds the government promised: Now they face dire consequences

Why haven’t small businesses like restaurants been given the COVID relief money they were promised? That’s a question being weighed by a lot of restaurant operators and managers, as they wait for the help they were guaranteed so many months ago during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of May, the fund had $28.6 billion, but had received more than $75 billion in requests.

News10NBC looked into the issue many businesses like Lorraine Serpe, a Victor business owner, was experiencing. A large chunk of relief money was supposed to go to women- and minority-owned restaurants.

However, they found that due to two discrimination lawsuits – owners like Serpe were pushed to the back of the line.


Here’s a problem, though: She was approved for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund money. Months later, she still hasn’t been funded.

This has been happening to small business owners across the region, as News10NBC found out. Some had been notified that they were approved, then denied after funding dried up. Or were simply denied even though they met the requirements.

The restaurants need the money. Especially heading into the second winter with COVID-related challenges.

Some lawmakers want to see the Restaurant Revitalization Fund get more funding. But that’s not likely at this point, unless another stimulus related package or bill is signed into law.



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