LAKELAND, Fla. — The Small Business Administration is providing funding to help restaurants keep their doors open.
Like so many restaurants Highland City Diner in Lakeland was devastated by the pandemic.
“Our losses were an amazing amount honestly. It’s hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Russell Colleran owner of Highland City Diner.
Colleran said he’ll be applying for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund when it launches, in hopes that it will help them rebound from the pandemic.
The program will provide restaurants impacted by COVID-19 with grants of up to $10 million.
Starting Friday, businesses can register on the Small Business Administration’s website. SBA will officially begin receiving applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on Monday.
“Go on the SBA website and download the guidance that they have on there because the SBA strongly recommends that you put together all your information before you go register on the site on Monday, May 3 at noon,” said Greg Manning, Small Business Consultant for Small Business Development Center at USF.
Priority will be given to businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged people for the first 21 days.
Funds may be used for specific expenses including payroll, business supplies and construction of outdoor seating. The program will remain open until the $28.6 billion available, runs out.
“There are so many restaurants in this area that didn’t make it. And I know this would’ve helped them, but it’s never too late. I'm just thankful we were able to survive and I'm thankful that my friends that are in the restaurant industry are also going to benefit from this,” Colleran said.
Recipients are not required to repay the money as long as funds are used no later than March 11, 2023.