The ongoing pandemic is making it difficult for small businesses owners in South Florida to pay rent and their employees. The City of Coral Gables is providing some relief to those business owners struggling by launching a new Recovery Grants Program and they hope to help over 30 businesses in need.
“Where do I begin. Rent, bills, keeping our staff on payroll… everything,” said Steve Bradley, owner of Clutch Burger.
Meet Steve, the owner of Clutch Burger. A restaurant located in on Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables. He’s one of the millions of business owners struggling to keep up.
“The staff knew they weren’t going to be working as many hours [but] we didn’t let anybody go. We kept everybody and we never closed. We got crafty and started selling merchandise and giving all that money to the staff,” said Steve.
But the craftiness and selling of merchandise to stay afloat, could only last for so long. So he applied for the Small Business Recovery Grants Program.
“The intent of the program is to provide grants to small businesses in the amount of between $15,000 to $20,000 to assist them with their rents. We’re working very hard to cover as many businesses as possible,” said Julian Perez, Director of Economic Development for the City of Coral Gables.
The maximum grant award is $50,000 and must be used to cover COVID-19 related costs. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis.
“We’re looking at how much money you have paid out for rent during the month of April through December 1st. It has to be rent that you have not paid with the PPP program or any other program that is available out there. It has to come out of your own pocket,” said Julian.
“We have a little bit outstanding debt with our landlords so we’ll [pay] them and then just use it as some operating capital to get us through,” said Steve.
The program will end on December 28th or when funds run out. If you’re a small business owner in need, you can find information on how to apply here.