My Valley Chamber Hosts Webinar to Explain Restaurant Stimulus Plan | Local News


As questions abound about the federal government’s vast restaurant revitalization fund, the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar on Wednesday to help local business owners better understand the new stimulus package.

“It’s really important that we spread this and pass that knowledge on to the smaller restaurateurs,” said Leanna Spada, chief executive of the chamber.

Spada invited local representatives from the Small Business Administration to explain who is eligible and how to claim the $ 28.6 billion allocated to the food and beverage industry in the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act.

“This is extremely important because of the shape our hospitality members are in right now, and it’s a wonderful program that the SBA is rolling out,” Spada said after the 30-minute session. “This could be a game changer for many of our members and those in the industry who are struggling to recover from the pandemic.”

Regina Puzausky, deputy director of the SBA’s Pittsburgh district office, told attendees that developing a solid plan will help them receive the stimulus funds.

“As with any grant program, your plan will be key to how you use the funds,” she said.

The funds can be used for payroll, mortgage bonds, utilities, maintenance, food and beverage, supplier costs, and construction for COVID-19 security improvements such as outdoor seating , although they cannot be used for various magnifications.

Companies can take their 2019 gross revenue and subtract their 2020 gross amount to calculate their application request. Businesses that opened in 2019 can take their average monthly gross that year and multiply them by 12 to compare them to 2020 numbers. Businesses that opened in 2020 can claim an amount for qualifying expenses between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2021.

The plan allows up to $ 5 million per location, but cannot exceed $ 10 million per applicant with no more than 20 affiliated companies. The minimum grant is $ 1,000.

There is a phased funding schedule of $ 9.5 billion in grants for businesses with lower gross sales.

“They wanted to make sure that the smaller of the smaller companies had the opportunity to compete,” Puzausky said.

The application process opens on Friday, but the online portal will be available from Monday. Business owners can apply through, a salesperson at the point of sale or by phone at 844-279-8898. Local support is also available online at or by email to [email protected]

Business owners who are women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged groups will be given priority during the first three weeks of the program. The program will then be open to everyone after this initial period until funds run out.

Companies that received PPP loans last year are also eligible for this program, although these funds are subtracted from the grant. But the money through the RRF does not have to be repaid, although it must be used by March 2023.

“It’s not a loan,” said Dave Pinkosky, a business specialist in the SBA’s West District office. “It’s not something where you take on more debt. … It’s a real subsidy program.

Spada congratulated the ASB for the webinar intended to help local business owners better understand the program.

“It’s very important because each program has so many different rules, regulations and guidelines,” said Spada. “It is getting very overwhelming and confusing.”

Video from Wednesday’s webinar will be posted on the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. More information about the program can be found on the SBA website at

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