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Restaurant Owners and COVID-19


If you are a restaurant owner, you are likely facing extreme financial challenges due to the novel COVID-19 virus and global pandemic. With almost the entire country on stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, most customers and regular patrons are avoiding any unnecessary travel and outings. Restaurants are particularly hit hard, as they have few ways to make a profit except for having some patrons eat in their restaurants. Some restaurants have decided to provide take out or delivery food, and others are making new items such as margarita mixes or hand sanitizer to go. During this time of unprecedented hustling, restaurants and other small business owners do have options available to them regarding ways to financially survive this pandemic.

Restructuring Budgets

Many restaurants and small businesses are simply restructuring their budgets and temporarily downsizing. Some employers have laid workers off and others have issued straight pay cuts across the board in order to avoid laying workers off. In other cases, businesses that were already struggling may have been hit so hard they will never recover. If you are facing a financial crisis due to the COVID-19 epidemic, visiting with an experienced attorney can help you examine your entire business budget and determine how best to restructure it during this difficult time.


The newly enacted CARES Act was an attempt by the federal government to assist businesses during this time of financial crisis. One of the features includes a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This is a way for your restaurant or small business to obtain a federal loan much quicker with less administrative hassle. Your business must meet standards including having less than 500 employees. If you are a food-service business, such as a restaurant, the 500 employee cap is actually per location. This money is intended to help restaurants and small business owners keep their businesses afloat for expenses incurred from February 15, 2020, through June 30, 2020. Check to see if your bank is participating, and if they are not, you can contact the Small Business Association (SBA) to find a bank near you that is participating.

State of Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan

There are other options available to you as a restaurant or small business owner during this time. For example, the  Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program (EBL) provides short-term, interest-free and fee-free loans that have been financially impacted due to the coronavirus. This small bridge loan can be used by businesses as a bridge during the time they are waiting for more permanent financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan or their money that will be available through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Let Us Help You Today

If you are a restaurant or small business owner overwhelmed at your current financial situation, do not hesitate to contact our experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley Kaplan & Eller today at 561-264-6850 for a consultation. We are available by phone or can also visit with you through a video conference. Let us help you during this time of uncertainty to ensure that your business has all the resources available to remain successful.




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