Small banquet halls, VFW halls are now eligible for grants for Nassau restaurants

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Small banquet halls are now eligible for Nassau County COVID-19 relief grants, officials said.

The county has expanded its $ 2.3 million restaurant restoration grant program, launched in November, as $ 530,000 has yet to be distributed.

Banquet halls with a catering staff of 50 or fewer are eligible for Nassau grants, which are $ 5,000 or $ 10,000 – depending on the size of the workforce. Meeting rooms operated by Foreign War Veterans, the American Legion, and other charitable or religious organizations may apply if they offer catered events.

All banquet halls must have a valid permit from the county health department.

“We will continue to be agile – adapting our programs to the changing needs of businesses,” said Laura Curran, Nassau County Manager. “We must do everything in our power to ensure that our once vibrant restoration scene comes back strong” from the pandemic.

To date, the grant program has awarded $ 1.7 million to 238 restaurants in Nassau. Each has 50 or fewer employees, Curran spokeswoman Justine DiGiglio-Cifarelli said, adding that the funds came from the federal community grants program.

Nassau reopened the restaurant grant program in February after previous applicants failed to meet eligibility criteria or respond to follow-up questions from the county and the grants administrator, the National Development Council. in Manhattan.

Owners of small banquet halls and restaurants can apply at nassaucountyny.gov/restaurantrecovery. More information is available by emailing [email protected] or calling 646-825-9617.

Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island developer group, said the Nassau grant program could act as a lifeline for struggling restaurants while the U.S. Small Business Administration launches a program. funding for the food-and-beverage sector.

A grant from Nassau “may provide the critical bridge that allows homeowners to maintain their staff and pay their bills,” said Strober, a member of Curran’s COVID Economic Advisory Board.

More federal funds

On Saturday, the SBA announced a slow rollout of its $ 28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, or RRF, with eligible businesses that already have Paycheck Protection Program loans being selected for a test. one week.

Test participants must be located in a poor neighborhood or belong to a woman, veteran or member of a minority group.

The national test will take place “over the next two weeks” but no money will be distributed until the RRF application portal opens, which will likely take place next month, the agency said. Once this happens, SBA will initially only process applications from women, minorities, veterans, and those operating in poor communities for 21 days.

FRR funding can be up to $ 10 million per applicant and up to $ 5 million per location. The money does not have to be refunded if it is spent before March 11, 2023.

More information is available at sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund.

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