Some new restaurants say they're ineligible for help under pandemic relief bill
Some businesses say they will not benefit from the $28.6 billion that has been set aside for restaurants under the pandemic relief bill.
Billy and Pete's Social in Larchmont opened in June of 2020 and they say they won't be able to qualify for a grant because they are a new business.
The amount each restaurant may receive is determined by subtracting 2020 sales from 2019 revenues.
Because they weren't open in 2019, there's no way for them to prove or show what losses they had year to year. After investing so much in opening their restaurant before one of the worst economic periods in history, they say they are in a very different position than restaurants that have had years to save.
"We're facing the same disadvantages as a business that has been open for 20 years. So, there's less people allowed inside. We had a 10 p.m. closing. Now it's 11 o'clock," says Billy Bishop, president of Billy & Pete's Social.
For those that do qualify, the bill says eligible companies cannot own more than 20 locations. The bill sets aside $5 billion for the smallest restaurants, whose annual revenue is $500,000 or less.
The National Restaurant Association tells News 12, "Today Congress spoke with one voice in support of the restaurant industry. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will keep doors open in restaurants large and small in every community."
They say more than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments have either closed temporarily or for good.