FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Some restaurants and bars in Northwest Arkansas are going through the application process to receive money through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Restaurant Revitalization fund. The nationwide grant programs offers $28.6 billion to supplement losses accrued during the pandemic.
Bo Counts owns Pinpoint Bar in Fayetteville, one of many spots hit hard during the pandemic.
“You’re looking at almost $200,000 in lost revenue,” Counts said.
Counts said he hopes the new federal program could help offset some of those losses.
“You have to have bank statements with your address,” Counts said. “You have to have any PPP information. It would help make 2020 almost not really a thing that happened.”
Mike Preston is Arkansas’ Secretary of Commerce. He said some of the money is already starting to hit bank accounts.
“This is I think the most comprehensive [program] focused on one specific industry, aside from maybe the funds that went to airlines and other direct payments,” Preston said.
Marginalized groups and spots in economically-depressed areas are part of the first tier of payments.
“Minority-owned businesses or ones with at least %1% women ownership of the business [gets money first,]” Preston said.
Applications are being submitted at this time, and distribution’s ramping up, Preston said.
“If you are a restaurant owner, make sure you’re going to the SBA website, filling out the forms and applications,” Preston said.
Counts said if he gets approved, he’ll give his employees some much-needed paid time off.
“It’s a dream come true if this goes through,” Counts said. “I’m going to give them a vacation. We’re going to treat the employees right. They’re the ones that are suffering the most.”