Restaurants can apply for revitalization funding

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Restaurants, bars and other food-related businesses can now apply for funding to alleviate the financial burden associated with the pandemic.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund helps to offset revenue loss and keep the doors open of small restaurant establishments.

Like many other businesses, the food industry has learned what it means to be resilient, meaning they must find new ways to bring in income while fighting to keep their doors open.

Restaurant owner Jerry LeBlanc said his business took a tremendous hit during the worst of the pandemic.

“We don’t have a drive-through, so when they shut down the restaurants for dine-in, it affected us 100 percent,” LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc said they are fortunate to be open and to have employees that are willing to work, but they have still not fully recovered. With the weight of the business on his shoulders, he said he had to worry every day.

“I told them don’t worry. I don’t care what I have to do, but for them not to worry and to keep showing up for work. I didn’t want to put them on unemployment,” LeBlanc said.

Leblanc said the funding will help his business as well as others until normalcy returns.

“I think it would help. It would help keep our doors open, for sure. I don’t plan on closing it, but I am dipping into my own personal savings to keep this place open,” LeBlanc said.

Owner of Southern Spice Restaurant and Grill Danita Leleux said her business is still recovering from similar complications.

“After about two or three months, you are starting to get pretty desperate,” Leleux said.

They did not qualify for the funding. Leleux said she thought it was unfair, but they are still grateful for the assistance they did receive.

“It is very rare that us small businesspeople get any kind of assistance as it is, especially when so much other stuff has been handed out around us that we don’t qualify for,” Leleux said.

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33 percent of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33 percent of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33 percent of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33 percent of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33 percent of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample or purchase products

You can apply for funding by clicking here.

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