The Restaurant Revitalization Fund sets aside billions of dollars for food-related businesses impacted by the pandemic.
MICHAEL PERCHICK: The past 14 months have presented immense difficulties for restaurants across The Triangle. And while recently relaxed restrictions have ushered some return to normalcy, the impact from lost business, still being felt. In October 2019 Enith Briales opened up Alpha Dawgs in Raleigh.
ENITH BRIALES: It was gradually growing.
MICHAEL PERCHICK: Six months later, the pandemic began, causing sales to plummet compared to projections.
ENITH BRIALES: About 85%, 95%.
MICHAEL PERCHICK: A report from UC Santa Cruz found the number of Black owned businesses decreased by 41% from February to April 2020, more than double the rate of white owned businesses. Briales says they received a PPP loan in August, and detailed the challenges in finding assistance.
ENITH BRIALES: [? You ?] just opening up, I mean what business credit do you have? You know, so you maxed out a lot of credit cards, stuff like that, just to stay open.
MICHAEL PERCHICK: Briales has applied for a grant from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which the Small Business Administration began accepting applicants for this week. For the first three weeks, their focus is solely on restaurants, majority owned by women, veterans, and those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
ENITH BRIALES: It'll help prepare us for the future, and also for what we lost as well.
MICHAEL PERCHICK: The grants extend to businesses such as bars, food trucks, bakeries, and caterers, offering a maximum of $10 million for companies with up to 20 locations. If you're interested in applying for a grant, we have the link to do so in this story on abc11.com. I'm Michael Perchick, ABC 11 Eyewitness News.