Biz owners who are not eligible for relief payment are doing good, but it could be better


Restaurant Owners Matt Childress and Giovonnt’e Baker struggled mightily at the beginning of the pandemic.

“When it first started, it was really bad for a while,” said Childress.

“Whew, the beginning of COVID was very stressful,” said Baker.

In Tennessee, the small business relief program was established to help the biz owners get back on their feet. However, some biz owners are not eligible, like Childress. He also does not know why he was not qualified.

“You get on their website and submit your information, it said I wasn’t eligible, unfortunately, don’t know anything past that,” said Childress.

Even without federal funds, the bakery stays afloat, but business would be a lot better if they could do catered events.

“I think like the biggest thing for us is that we’ve lost the bulk in the catering,” said Childress

Most people are reluctant to planning events during a health pandemic.

“Because people can’t get together, so you really don’t the business orders that you used to would get,” said Childress.

I checked in with startup biz Americana kitchen and grille not too long ago about their challenges during this time. When viewers saw their story, something good happened.

“Well, we had a few customers come in the day that it aired,” said Baker.

The restaurant is a black-owned business, and nationally nearly 40 percent of black biz owners say their business’s cash reserves will be depleted by the end of the year. Chef baker says he is confident their business will survive.

“I’m confident that as long as we have the support of the community as long as we continue to give great hospitality, that even after the pandemic, Americana will be here for a very long time,” said Baker.

Information provided by the department of revenue says that there are 20,000 businesses that may be eligible for relief payment, and $148 million is left to distribute. The deadline to submit information is September 25.

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