Restaurant revitalization grant coming to local businesses

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– The Small Business Administration is making a push to get restaurants back on their feet after closures in the pandemic.

Josh Rogers with Newtown Macon, explained that the funding targets businesses that are still behind in their finances.

“What they’re looking for with the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is any business who in 2020 after they made all the money they could, and got all the relief programs they could, still didn’t make as much money as they did in 2019,” Rogers explained.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is $28.6 billion in government grants that will go towards giving restaurants like Famous Mike’s of Macon a boost.

Mike Seekins, the owner of Famous Mike’s of Macon says although his restaurant was only allowed 50% capacity for a while, he considers his business luckier than most.

“You’re always adjusting in the restaurant business because you can’t predict people,” Seekins said. “You never know when you’re going to be packed at noon, dead at noon, or packed at 2 in the afternoon. It happens and it’s odd… I can tell you I’m lucky though because I’ve got a great staff.”

Seekins says any extra funding always helps in a restaurant.

“There are 22 ways to lose money in a restaurant and only one way to make money. A 5-gallon tub of dish soap is $120. I get one every two weeks, so that’s $240 a month over 12 months, just on soap.”

Famous Mike’s of Macon says they plan to apply for the revitalization grant and will use it to continue giving to the community.

Newtown Macon says restaurants can get $1000 to $10 million, it all depends on the size of your business and your earnings from last year.

“It’s open for franchises but also for individually owned businesses. The maximum grant award is capped at $10 million and then $5 million per location.”

The Small Business Administration opened applications for the funding at noon Monday and will keep them open until the funding runs out.

To apply for the grant visit: https://restaurants.sba.gov/requests/borrower/login/?next=/.

Once you get on this page you can register an account for your business, or log in once you have one already. The application will ask the eligibility of your business to filter out government-owned businesses or publicly traded industries. Restaurants can also submit tax information and PPP loan numbers if available.

The first 21 days of the application will prioritize women, veterans, and minority-owned businesses.