Marquette businesses apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The $28.6 billion in federal aid promises direct relief to small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.
Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 8:02 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Some Marquette restaurant owners are keeping their fingers crossed after applying for the new Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

The federal government’s $28.6 billion aid is the latest offering to help small businesses.

“If I’m granted this, I may be able to use this for anything that has ties into the business - my utilities, my bills, payroll, if I want to make changes, staffing, all that stuff. So that’s a really good thing for us to look at,” said Java Bay Coffee House Owner Nicole Collins.

Collins noted an importance piece to the fund: staffing.

Many small businesses were unable to qualify for aid such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as reduced staffing disqualified them from getting the funding approved.

“It’s me and my brother, I’ve got two other cooks and my daughter -- that is it. There’s so many other factors that fall into these grants and programs, that some don’t know until you get into it,” explained Collins.

For Jeffrey’s Family Restaurant in Marquette, it’s been a steady climb and business has picked up since late February -- especially as dining capacity expanded to 50%.

“I’m one of the fortunate ones. I have great employees, and I have a great customer base,” said Owner Jeffrey Erickson.

He urged his colleagues in the industry to waste no time sending in those applications.

“I would highly recommend it. I was fortunate enough that the PPP money has helped me enough. I want the money to go to the people that really, really need it,” Erickson said.

The Small Business Administration said applicants should expect a process up to seven days for “IRS verification” status.

Nationwide, more than 186,000 restaurants and bars have applied since applications opened Monday.

Register and apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund HERE.

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