New Hampshire taps into ARPA funds to help restaurants | New Hampshire

(The Center Square) — New Hampshire is tapping into federal pandemic relief funds to help bail out restaurants struggling with the lingering fiscal effects of the pandemic.

A proposal that was submitted to the Executive Council on Wednesday calls for releasing another round of grants to small independent restaurants from a $3 million relief fund.

The latest batch of disbursements, which totaled $112,062, includes grants ranging from $11,000 to $15,000 to eight companies that applied for the funding. The state has already distributed more than $714,000, leaving about $2.1 million for future awards.

In a request to the Executive Council, the executive director of the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, Taylor Caswell, said restaurants across the state “continue to bear a heavy burden” due to the pandemic. .

“Challenges include finding and retaining the workforce, supply chain distractions, and shifts in consumer behavior and expectations,” he wrote. “Going into the slower ‘low season’ with rising COVID cases, these issues are likely to be amplified.”

The Sununu administration says the program’s goal is to provide restaurants with funding for long-term investments to help them grow and overcome challenges such as job changes for shortages and persistent supply issues. public security.

Under the program, funds can be used by restaurants to cover the cost of equipment or software upgrades such as online reservations, guestless check-ins, table payment systems as well as infrastructure physical such as HVAC systems to improve safety.

Overall, the state expects to secure nearly $1 billion in ARPA funds and has allocated more than half of the money.

Funds must be spent by 2026 or returned to the federal government.

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