SBA delays financial aid to thousands of restaurateurs over discrimination lawsuit

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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – The Small Business Administration has delayed millions of relief dollars as an ongoing discrimination lawsuit goes to court.

At least 3,000 restaurants have been approved to replenish their 2019-20 losses. Now they don’t know when that money will be released.

This money, tangent to the US bailout and restaurant revitalization funds, would replenish the money lost by businesses from 2019 to 2020.

It could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars with a cap of $ 8 million.

When Congress approved the $ 28 billion in relief available, they called for veterans, women and underprivileged businesses to be prioritized.

Some business owners felt they were discriminated against and sued the administration of small businesses.

“What it claims is that maybe someone who wasn’t in one of those categories didn’t have a fair chance of getting that money. Now they could, anyone could apply at the opening, and the SBA put them in the groups. Randy Burch of the Small Business Development Center is helping clients overcome the funding hiatus.

At least $ 75 million is needed out of the $ 28 billion in relief funds available.

“They need, as I said, almost triple to fund all of this. There are currently around 3,000 applications that are stalled because of this lawsuit, and just waiting to see where it goes, ”said Burch.

There is an effort underway at Congress to add more money, but it is far from certain.

However, Burch said, as the state reopens, restaurants remain afloat for now.

“Most of the restaurateurs I spoke with survive, they are, they are doing now that everything is reopened, people are eating again in restaurants, things are 100% open. So most of them are fine. This extra money would really replace their losses. And that’s what it really helped, ”Burch said.

Burch says restaurants have received support from the Paycheck Protection Program and recently the COVID-19 Economic Disaster Loan increased their loans from $ 250,000 now to $ 500,000. This 30 year low interest loan still has billions of unclaimed funds.

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