Second round of federal pandemic relief expected to target small businesses like restaurants

Written by on December 22, 2020

Second round of federal pandemic relief expected to target small businesses like restaurants

By Sam Dunklau / WITF

December 22, 2020

A second round of federal pandemic relief funding is expected to target small businesses like restaurants.

But Pennsylvania’s hospitality industry says it may be too late for some.

Listen to the story.

For months, struggling restaurants, bars and hotels have lobbied state and federal lawmakers for direct grants to help them meet expenses that keep piling up as business slows because of the pandemic.

The Congressional aid package promises to give small businesses a share of $280 billion in forgivable Paycheck Protection loans.

Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association President John Longstreet says though it isn’t what the industry was hoping for, something needed to be done.

“The reality of the grant program is that we didn’t see it getting done, as hard as we worked for it. So this is a good solution in the interim to help many restaurants survive.”

Longstreet says without some type of aid, 45% of the commonwealth’s restaurants would have to close permanently within the next six months.

He and others plan to petition state lawmakers for another billion dollars in direct state aid.

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