Collins noted an importance piece to the fund: staffing. “If I’m granted this, I may be able to use this for anything that has ties into the business – my utilities, my bills, payroll, if I want to make changes, staffing, all that stuff. So that’s a really good thing for us to look at,” said Java Bay Coffee House Owner Nicole Collins.
Many small businesses were unable to qualify for aid such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as reduced staffing disqualified them from getting the funding approved. He urged his colleagues in the industry to waste no time sending in those applications.
“I’m one of the fortunate ones. I have great employees, and I have a great customer base,” said Owner Jeffrey Erickson. “I would highly recommend it. I was fortunate enough that the PPP money has helped me enough. I want the money to go to the people that really, really need it,” Erickson said.
For Jeffrey’s Family Restaurant in Marquette, it’s been a steady climb and business has picked up since late February — especially as dining capacity expanded to 50%. “It’s me and my brother, I’ve got two other cooks and my daughter — that is it. There’s so many other factors that fall into these grants and programs, that some don’t know until you get into it,” explained Collins.
Nationwide, more than 186,000 restaurants and bars have applied since applications opened Monday. The Small Business Administration said applicants should expect a process up to seven days for “IRS verification” status.
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