Major Initiative Aims at Providing Fast and Effective Help to COVID-Hit Small Businesses
Two challenges face government authorities in providing relief to those small businesses hardest hit by the impact of COVID restrictions. One is the need to act fast. The other is to make sure the money goes to the right people.
Those goals have not always been met. Now a major step forward is about to be taken to help those businesses nationwide that have so far failed to gain the assistance that they urgently need.
The new venture is directed at aiding those businesses that are considered to have been hardest hit by the pandemic. They are situated in underserved communities and they have been disadvantaged historically. In particular those businesses are usually restaurants and generally small businesses that are owned by women, veterans, and those individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
The big new step forward is being taken by the Small Business Administration with the help of Los Angeles-based Lendistry. The government body will be able more effectively to provide much-needed help to these businesses through drawing on the expertise of the company, which is Black led and operated.
Lendistry, which seeks to provide responsible funding to owners of small businesses and those who are in communities that are underserved, has developed an innovative model that is capable of providing aid to these disadvantaged groups quickly and efficiently. The model already has a proven track record which should stand it in excellent stead going forward.
The company describes the model as a fintech hybrid that enhances lending operations that are community based with the use of data that has been developed through artificial intelligence. The model already has proven successful in Pennsylvania and California.
In addition to a proven model, the company brings with it a track record of major achievements, particularly in its home state of California. Since the pandemic first hit the nation, Lendistry has channeled almost $1.5 billion to those businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. The state of California chose the company to manage more than $2.5 billion in relief provided to small businesses under COVID.
So far during this year alone, more than $500 million has been provided in the form of grants to recipients in California. A little more than half of the grants are being provided to minority-owned businesses. Fifty-three percent is being distributed to women-owned businesses.
Lendistry is ranked second throughout the nation in Small Business Administration Community Advantage lending.
Because of its strong record, the program being managed by Lendistry and backed by the SBA is expected to have a strong impact on those disadvantaged businesses that still require help, and in particular those that require help as soon as possible.
A major part of the new initiative will be to provide capital under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to those meal providers that have been hardest hit by the pandemic restrictions.
Applicants who own restaurants can apply for assistance through Point of Sale vendors that have been recognized by the SBA. Those smaller restaurants that do not have relationships with those vendors will now be able to apply for assistance through Lendistry.
Details of restaurant funding
Here are details of the funding that will be granted by the RRF to assist hard-hit restaurants.
• The funding will be equal to that of the restaurant’s loss of income during the pandemic. The maximum provided will be $10 million for a business entity and no more than $5 million for a business located in one place.
• If the funds are used before March 11, 2023 in ways that are eligible the businesses will not be required to pay the money back.
• During the first 21 days after the launch of the program, the Small Business Administration will review first those small businesses that are women-owned, veteran-owned or owned by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
• After the initial period of 21 days, applications from all applicants who are eligible will be welcomed.
Those seeking more information on deadlines, requirements and eligibility should visit lendistry.com/restaurantrevitalizationfund.