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Speaking up to state leaders; St. Louis restaurant owners want changes to their loans

St. Louis restaurants are asking state leaders for change and they need your help to make their voices heard
Credit: Tagboard

ST. LOUIS — Some St. Louis restaurants worry the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) won’t give them the help they need. 

Restaurant owners hope the people who have shown up to their dining rooms will now show support as they ask state leaders to make changes.

Currently under the PPP, restaurants that want a loan would have to take it immediately and rehire staff – even if their doors stay closed through the pandemic.

However, owners and chefs like Craig Rivard of Little Fox said this won’t necessarily help his business.

“While the PPP is really well-intended, it doesn’t really address the issues that independent restaurants are having,” he said. “It’s a blanket tool that isn’t intended for small businesses.”

There are two key adjustments that need to be made, according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition.

Small local restaurants want to change the origination date of a PPP loan to the first day that restaurants can completely open legally. Rivard said this would benefit him more than receiving the loan now, when he can't operate his business.

RELATED: $350 billion set aside for 'Paycheck Protection Program' - any small company can apply

They are also asking for the maximum loan amounts to extend from eight weeks to three months after they are allowed to reopen and operate at full capacity.

Rivard closed Little Fox weeks ago, and has had to let go of his staff. He says these changes would help his business stay afloat once he is able to reopen doors.

“You’re binging on more debt right at the time you’re trying to get out,” he said.

Rivard and his 16 former employees are just a small fraction of people who could benefit from these changes. According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, 11 million employees will lose their jobs if senators do not take action.

Local restaurants are asking their patrons to help them advocate change by signing this petition: https://www.saverestaurants.com/take-action/

"It would be great to see more of us get involved to save the restaurants that they love," said Rivard. "We need you to encourage your senators."


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