North Carolina restaurant owners able to apply for rent, mortgage relief


Starting Thursday, North Carolina restaurant owners will be able to apply for rent and mortgage relief.

Businesses may apply for up to four months of assistance under the Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief Program (MURR) administered by the NC Department of Commerce.

It’s been eight months since restaurants in the Triad were forced to adapt to takeout only, then reduced capacity business models.

“We’ve been here 37 years, and it’s almost like you have to reinvent yourself again,” said Ray Essa, the owner of Cafe Pasta.

Essa said curbside pickup and restaurant dining have been successful, but he said the extra funds could help owners forced to adapt.

“Everything helps, and it gets a little bit of the pressure taken off,” he said.

“With small businesses we don’t have deep pockets like all the major restaurants or corporate-owned restaurants. Their pockets are a lot deeper than ours,” said Ginah Soufia, the owner of Wallstreet Deli and Catering.

Business owners that spoke to FOX8 said they’d be interested in applying for the program depending on stipulations. Most weren’t interested in a loan that would have to be repaid.

“Any help because we are at 50% capacity would be tremendous,” said Mary Speaker, of Salvino.

She explained the restaurant has used profits to invest in an HVAC system that helps eliminate coronavirus in the air. As restrictions continue, Speaker asks that indoor dining remains.

“That’s our biggest prayer and our biggest request is do not close us down again,” Speaker said.

Applications are being accepted on a first come, first served basis, and will open Thursday at 8:00 a.m.

Owners could be eligible for up to four months of rent or mortgage interest.

You can find more information about the program here.

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