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Businesses hit hard by the pandemic now able to apply for more funds

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION)  Businesses that experienced a pandemic-related revenue loss are now able to apply for more funding.

"It was a diverse group of people that came together to talk about challenges within our industries," said Managing Director of Portola Hotel and Spa at Monterey Bay, Janine Chicourrat.

Monterey County business owners met on Thursday with Congressman Jimmy Panetta to discuss how to revive their respective industries.

Despite being ineligible for the new restaurant revitalization fund. Chicourrat attended the discussion to learn more about the struggle of business in the area.

The hotel closed its doors for ten months and furloughed all of its employees. The hotel took a big hit with losing $30,000,0000 in losses last year. 

"I know, Congressman Panetta was listening to the stories and he understands that it's too narrowly defined right now,” said Chicourrat. “I know he's gonna go back to Washington and talk to his colleagues about that."

Co-owner of Sur Burger, Manhao Chhor was also one of them. It was important for him to attend to make sure the voices of restaurant owners like himself are heard. According to Chhor, one of the biggest challenges he and many other restaurants in Monterey faced is the decline in customers and revenue. Tourists are a huge percentage of their clientele and for him, it was important to discuss how to rebound, he said. 

"Anything that can help we'll try to apply for,” said Chhor. “We want anything and also to attract more people. It's actually been difficult to get the new people to come back because for whatever reason, so it's hard to find people and I think you'll find here the same kind of concern with other people."

The Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides almost 29 billion dollars to indirect relief for restaurants, bars, and other small food and beverage businesses. The program gives priority to women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Chhor also said Sur Burger was not able to access any of the PPE funds that were available but he's hoping to be able to receive some aid from this new program.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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