Black-owned restaurants prepare for federal Restaurant Revitalization fund

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More cash is coming to area restaurants after taking a beating during the pandemic.

Many small, locally-owned restaurants are still trying to recover.

Have questions about the spread of coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

This latest federal funding is just for restaurants, bars and other foodservice businesses and it’s part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

Unlike previous federal programs, this one will give priority to small businesses owned by women and minorities like Mahogany Memphis, one of the city’s few black-owned fine dining restaurants.

Mahogany is also one of the hundreds of local restaurants trying to bounce back more than a year into the pandemic.

“[Customers] wanted to make sure that we survived during this process, so we’re extremely to our client base,” said Carlee McCullough, Mahogany Memphis restaurant.

Starting Monday, the Small Business Administration will open applications for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization fund.

TRENDING: Mother wanted on 63 counts of Reckless Endangerment in connection to daycare shooting in custody

This grant covers more expenses and unlike previous government loans, it doesn’t have to be paid back.

A big help for Mahogany that has a staff of 31 people.

“That’s a lot of people and a lot of families that we impact and our monies that received it goes directly to payroll,” said McCullough.

With two locations in Memphis, the owners of Trap Fusion are also applying for this new federal assistance. This grant will also prioritize minority restaurants, unlike the PPP loan process during the first initial rounds.

“We applied for PPP last year, I mean we got single-digit money and had employees who should have qualified for more than that,” said Markeith McCoy, co-worker of Trap Fusion.

McCoy is hopeful they’ll get more funding this time around.

“I don’t think it has been an equal playing field. We have a lot of room for improvement,” he said.

Registration for the SBA application portal will begin on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 am ET. Applications will open on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon ET.