As part of The Rebound South Florida, we are looking to help small business owners and employees get back on their feet.
Business lawyer Jeremy Ben-David provides relief tips small businesses can take advantage of.
“Clearly it’s extremely impactful on the restaurant industry and now has found its way into every part of our lives,” said Brad Kilgore, restaurateur and founder of Kilgore Culinary Group
Kilgore had to completely change the menu for one of his restaurants. "Alter" is now “Alter Q”. Kilgore had to shift from serving gastronomic dishes to BBQ and selling grocery store items to make ends meet.
“I’m from Kansas City originally so barbecue is in my blood. We started doing BBQ, grocery store items, all the way down to paper goods, flour, meats, and vegetables, on top of hot cooked food,” said Kilgore.
Jeremy Ben-David, partner at AXS Law group, says business owners, especially in the hospitality industry are struggling, and should immediately apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.
“The first tranche of dollars available was $349 billion. That got wiped up in a couple of weeks and there was no more funding available. New legislation just passed this week expanding that program and there will be more dollars available for these loans,” said Jeremy.
Jeremy says it is possible for that loan to be forgiven if you use the proceeds on paying your employees in the first eight weeks.
Kilgore applied for the PPP loan, but still hasn’t gotten any money. However, he’s staying positive.
“Be patient, stay in your ground, be thoroughly thought through in your processes,” said Kilgore.
Second, Jeremy says be open with your landlord. Don’t go dark if you can’t pay rent.
“Work with your landlord in terms of ‘hey maybe I don’t pay my rent for the next two, three, four months, since I’m not open and maybe what I owe you now we spread it over the balances of the lease,’ “said Jeremy.
Third, be familiar with the protections and relief programs offered by the government.
“The Family Medical Leave Expansion Act now covers COVID-19. If you’re an employer, you have to be aware of this if one of your employees gets sick. Also, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act was also expanded, and it applies to private employers with less than 500 employees and you may have to pay your employees for up to two weeks if they get sick,” said Kilgore.
Kilgore and other notable Miami-area chefs created a GoFundMe page for restaurant workers who lost their jobs.
He says anyone in Miami-Dade can apply for a grant.
“We just hit 100,000 dollars in donations in just under four weeks. So, what does that mean? 400 people or families were granted $250,” said Kilgore.
If you're in need of a grant you can apply here.
To reach Jeremy, email Info@axslawgroup.com