DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Starting Tuesday, restaurants and businesses can apply to Ohio’s Food and Beverage Establishment Grant Program. This program designates $100-million to help revive the hospitality industry impacted by the pandemic.
The Ohio Restaurant Association is confident thousands of restaurants, businesses and even hotels are eligible for these funds.
“Montgomery will definitely oversubscribe for that much because there’s so many restaurants there,” said President & CEO Ohio Restaurant Association John Barker.
Over $100-million will be disbursed over Ohio’s 88 counties, each county will receive roughly $500,000 initially and then funds will be allocated to areas most in need. This past weekend, the state of Ohio stopped participating in the federal government’s supplemental benefits program. Barker says the extra funds to the jobless were crucial when the pandemic hit, but now it’s time to get back to work.
“”2\3rds of our industry were furloughed, we lost over 585,000 jobs, thats alot of people that needed support,” said Barker. “Now, if you want a job you can almost walk into any restaurant in the state. If you have any experience, you’ll get hired and if you don’t have any experience, you’ll probably still get hired.”
Barker believes most restaurants in need will use the funds to get out of debt, afford current cost of products, increase labor costs and afford retention bonuses.
“This one we really got ahead of it and got publicity out to restaurants,” said Barker. “They’re back and operating but they’re in so much debt from 2020 they’re looking for ways to get out of it.”
Beginning June 29, 2021, businesses can submit an application at: BusinessHelp.Ohio.Gov. Eligible businesses:
- Must have at least one physical location in Ohio that has been in operation since at least Dec. 1, 2019 (there is a separate New Small Business Grant Program for businesses that opened in 2020).
- Include food service contractors; caterers; mobile food services; drinking places, such as bars, taverns, nightclubs, etc.; full-service restaurants; limited-service restaurants; coffee shops; cafeterias; buffets; snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars (there is a separate Entertainment Venue Grant and Lodging Business Grant program for those businesses).
- Must have experienced at least a 10% reduction in sales/revenue in 2020 at one or more Ohio locations as a result of COVID-19.
- Must be in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State, the Ohio Department of Taxation, and any other governmental entity charged with regulating the business.