Atlanta is relaunching its COVID-19 relief grant program to assist with the continued recovery of the city’s small businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic. This includes Atlanta restaurants with fewer than 250 employees.
Mayor Andre Dickens announced the renewal of the Resurgence Grant Fund earlier this week, which is now infused with $10.4 million in funding. The COVID-19 relief program, first created in 2020, is part of the American Rescue Plan and under the direction of Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency.
Starting on March 1, 2022, all eligible Atlanta businesses can begin applying for up to $40,000 in relief funding for costs incurred after March 3, 2021, if establishments meet the necessary requirements. Businesses that previously received aid under the program in 2020 can reapply, but priority is being given to businesses that did not participate during the first round of funding two years ago.
Here’s what to know:
- Businesses must hold a valid 2022 City of Atlanta business license, this includes start-ups and home-based businesses;
- Businesses must employ fewer than 250 people as of December 31, 2021;
- Businesses must attest to not receiving Federal funding for the same pandemic-related losses or expenses being applied for under the latest Resurgence Grant Fund;
- Businesses must provide proof of financial hardship with receipts as a result of the pandemic, including financial losses, closures due to staff shortages, etc., incurred after March 3, 2021;
- No fee to apply;
- Applications close April 29, 2022.
In addition to small businesses, Atlanta nonprofit organizations with fewer than 250 employees are also eligible to receive funding under the grant program.
The relaunch of the city’s COVID-19 funding program follows a devastating holiday season for many Atlanta restaurants after a huge surge in cases spurred on by the highly transmissible Omicron variant crippled the industry in December. Dozens of Atlanta restaurants were forced to close during the peak of holiday dining season due to staff shortages, multiple employees contracting the virus, and people canceling hundreds of reservations and parties.
Atlanta restaurant nonprofit Giving Kitchen began to see an uptick in financial aid requests from industry workers in early December. Just two weeks later, requests for COVID-related aid from Atlanta’s restaurant workers shattered the 2021 monthly average.
“There’s no safety net left. There’s not another PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] on the way,” Giving Kitchen executive director Bryan Schroeder told Eater at the time, who added that restaurants and employees were already buckling under the weight of the financial crisis caused by COVID-19 over the past two years before this latest surge hit Atlanta.
Eater reached out the mayor’s office for clarification and further details on the city’s COVID-19 relief fund program pertaining to Atlanta restaurants.