The Benton Club has received federal aid to help cope with lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The downtown club, which started as a literacy group in 1887, received a federal economic disaster loan from the Small Business Administration. Club management declined to provide specific details on the amount of funding, and the SBA was also unable to confirm the amount of money received by the organization.
Dominic CDeBaca, general manager of the Benton Club, said the past year had posed challenges as there weren’t as many banquet-like gatherings or events during the pandemic and the club had struggled.
âAt times during the pandemic, like most people, we were faced with some really tough decisions almost a week a week and things got very stressed,â CDeBaca said.
The club began to resume banquets and offered the public take out lunch orders. CDeBaca said he thinks the club is important to St. Joseph.
âThe Benton Club has been there for over 140 years, and keeping it in place is extremely important to us as the membership continues to grow and we not only keep members, but also serving these and other service groups. clubs and organizations that use our facilities, âsaid CDeBaca.
In the state of Missouri, more than $ 2 trillion in economic disaster loans has been made statewide and approximately 46,000 total loans have been approved.
âInitially, when the pandemic hit, places like our facility were closed due to social distancing restrictions and necessary mask warrants and even quarantines,â CDeBaca said. âWe had to change our business model a bit, as most restaurants did.â