‘This is going to be a big help to us’: Triad restaurants apply for COVID-19 relief funds

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HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Money, it’s the biggest thing businesses need.

They are counting on customers coming back, but the losses are so great because of COVID, that is not enough for some owners.

Bronce McClain has run Uncle Maddio’s Pizza in High Point for six years.

“Business had been very good,” McClain said.

Until March 2020, when COVID closed everything.

“It was panic because everyone was in the same boat. I mean the first day the sales were zero,” McClain said.

The owner of Plaza Cafe, Alex Hatgudas faced the same struggles

“It was a little bit tough in the beginning for one month closed. Just doing take out, and to go we couldn’t make it,” Hatgudas said.

Both are happy the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Program is now available.

It allows owners like Hatgudas and McClain to get as much as $10 million to use over the next two years, depending on the size of their business.

“If the government didn’t help, I would probably have to close the place.. I’m grateful yes,” Hatgudas said.

McClain wasted no time signing up for this latest assistance after losing out on the second round of PPP loans.

“We didn’t qualify. A lot of restaurants didn’t qualify, and that’s probably why they came up with this RRF Fund,” McClain said.

If he gets the money, McClain knows exactly how he’ll use it.

“It gives us the capital to continue to hire people, and to continue to grow the business, and get through this pandemic. Hopefully, we can come out on the other side a lot better than we started,” McClain said. “This is going to be a big help to us.”

The application process opened Monday. The first three weeks of applying are critical, mainly because after the 21-day window, larger restaurant groups will be able to apply, and that could exhaust the funds quickly.

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