Macon’s restaurant braces for another round of COVID-19 federal funds

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The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will allow restaurants, bars and other small businesses to apply for funding to make up for lost revenue.

MACON, Georgia – It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live.

Foodservice is one of the hardest hit industries and one that is trying to bounce back. According to experts, as of December, more than 110,000 restaurants and bars closed temporarily or permanently, but more federal funding could be on the way for restaurants and small businesses that need it.

Kudzu Seafood’s dining room is now open, but this time last year owner Lee Clack says it looked a lot different.

“When we reopened the sidewalk, we did it Thursday through Saturday, lunch and dinner, wow we were making maybe about 15% of our normal income, that’s all we could generate,” says Clack.

After initially having to close for two weeks due to state restrictions on COVID-19, Clack says they slowly moved to the sidewalk and then to eat inside.

He says that even when meals were re-authorized, the highest income they could achieve was around 45%.

“Without a doubt, without government help, we couldn’t have stayed open. We were able to just maintain. I took advantage of almost everything I could get, so I got both PPP funding and emergency disaster lending, ”he said.

Clack says he plans to take advantage of the restaurant revitalization fund, a new program for restaurants, bars, bakeries and more that have suffered loss of income from a pandemic.

Businesses can use these funds for rent payment, utilities, maintenance, etc.

Clack says the Poplar Street location opened just months before the pandemic and the rooftop terrace opened in December 2020.

He says that with the removal of restrictions and help from the government, they are starting to get back to normal.

“Our weekends are almost pre-COVID – I mean, we run good numbers on the weekends. Our weekdays are still a bit low, ”he says.

Clack says as the summer months approach, he hopes to make more use of the rooftop bar.

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