Applications for the Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant open this Friday.
We learned why some businesses in the area will be applying for the funds.
Businesses like Bennigans in Mandan and the Sleepy Hollow Theatre & Arts Park in Bismarck are just two of many still feeling the effects of the ongoing pandemic.
“A big decrease in sales obviously. I think we’re about 65, 70 percent of sales post-pandemic from pre-pandemic,” explained Rob Knoll, one of the owners of Bennigans.
“We couldn’t have our summer shows. We didn’t know how to rehearse with our students. So who really lost were the students in having this wonderful experience,” said Susan Lundberg, the Executive Directors and Cofounder of Sleepy Hollow Theatre & Arts Park.
Both businesses will be eligible for the Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant.
This round of funding will be aimed at reimbursing restaurants, event venues and other establishments that were negatively impacted by the pandemic and closure orders in the spring.
“So by reimbursing them for payroll, and certain benefits — for their mortgages, rent operating expenses, utilities, touchless equipment if they need it that they didn’t get from the first round — or signage or marketing, y doing that we’re freeing up the capital if you will, to get them through four to five months,” said James Leiman the Director of Economic Development from the Department of Commerce.
Over $50 million will be available to help almost 3,000 businesses throughout the state.
“We’re going to use it for past payroll expenses. Honestly, that’s the easiest way to apply. Something we really need. And it provides us flexibility for other funding, our other funds we have available right now,” said Knoll.
“Partially replace what we spent, because you know, we’re digging down to the bones here to have the money to keep going. And you know all the arts are in the same boat,” said Lundberg.
Another business eligible for the Hospitality Economic Resiliency Grant are hotels with restaurants, bars or banquet hall space inside.
The money for this round of ERG is made up of the remaining funds from the last round plus an additional $29 million in CARES Act funds.