The $900 billion federal stimulus package includes additional relief to help restaurants make it through the next stage of the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill allows small businesses to apply for a second forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program. Most businesses can apply for an amount equal to two-and-a-half months of payroll. But Jessica Dunker, president of the Iowa Restaurant Association, says restaurants can ask for more.
She says since they’ve had such a big hit they’ll be able to have three-and-a-half months of payroll that they’ll be able to borrow and have it forgiven as long as they use it in appropriate ways.
Sixty percent of the loan must be used to pay employees. Dunker estimates that even with the relief money about one thousand restaurants and bars across the state will close because of the pandemic.
“Nonetheless, the timing of it will help a number of restaurants get over that hump and into the spring when the vaccine is more widely available and we’re able to open our patios back up,” Dunker says.
Dunker Iowa’s hospitality industry is estimated to have lost nearly $1.5 billion in revenue in 2020.
(By Grant Gerlock, Iowa Public Radio)