Councilman pushes for extra grants for meals and beverage sector

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SAN ANTONIO – After almost three months, District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino remains to be pushing for an additional spherical of metropolis assist particularly for companies within the meals and beverage sector.

“What we’re seeing is that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel,” Trevino stated. “The issue is a number of these companies don’t have the sources accessible to them to get to that gentle.

Trevino submitted a council consideration request (CCR) on Oct. 15 concerning a “Meals and Beverage Employee Aid Program,” which he envisions as a $35 million in grants for companies.

Nevertheless, the proposal has not but appeared on a Governance Committee agenda —a important first step.

“The government can move as fast as it wants to,” Trevino stated. “I won’t make any assumptions other than to just simply say ‘we ask —we respectfully ask that this move forward. You know, this is not about us individually. This is about our community collectively.”

Town has already distributed $29.7 million of federal CARES Act {dollars} via small enterprise grants. Of that, $8.7 million of which went to the meals and beverage sector, which might embody not simply bars and eating places, but in addition companies resembling caterers.

In an announcement launched via a spokesperson, Mayor Ron Nirenberg stated “The city of San Antonio has been doing the work outlined in the proposal since last spring.”

Nirenberg listed the small enterprise grants for example, together with a rental and mortgage help program and each the continuing workforce growth program and one authorised by voters in November.

Nirenberg stated 227 grants had been awarded to the meals and beverage sector, and in keeping with metropolis workers, “all eligible food and beverage applicants received grants.”

Nevertheless, Trevino says that’s removed from all the town’s eating places.

The regional govt director for the Texas Restaurant Affiliation, Daybreak Ann Larios, instructed KSAT that the town’s eligibility cap of 20 workers meant many eating places had been overlooked.

“Our restaurants, they employ at least 20, 25 to 30, some 50, some over a 100 employees,” Larios stated.

Although his CCR mentions no certain amount for this system, Trevino instructed KSAT on Tuesday he believes the town ought to be capable of do as a lot as Washington D.C., which put $35 million in grants aside for its restaurants.

Discovering that a lot may very well be robust in a belt-tightening finances 12 months like this one. The unique spherical of metropolis grants had been funded fully via one-time federal stimulus {dollars}.

Trevino believes the cash can nonetheless be moved round within the metropolis’s $2.9 billion finances, presumably even with the involvement of $17 million earmarked for another pet project of his – the Alamo Plaza Master Plan. The plan is on maintain after the Texas Historic Fee rejected a central a part of it.

Whereas the Alamo venture cash couldn’t be used immediately for his program due to restrictions tied to its use, Trevino thinks it may very well be moved in a method that might release commensurate quantities from one other supply.

That cash, he says, may very well be used to assist fund the proposal in his CCR together with different emergency reduction efforts.

Such a transfer would require council approval, although. Moreover, a metropolis spokesman stated there aren’t sufficient funds in that space of the finances to release the complete $17 million.

The $900 billion stimulus invoice Congress handed in December additionally has a number of measures that would assist struggling eating places, together with bigger loans via the Paycheck Protection Program, which reopened Monday.

Nevertheless, Larios says the federal help nonetheless gained’t be sufficient by itself to assist the struggling business.

Related: San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce helping businesses stay open during pandemic

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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