New companies largely overlooked of pandemic assist applications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Congress handed two pandemic reduction packages in 2020 in an effort to maintain small companies afloat, however newly-opened retailers say they’ve been overlooked of the laws.

Kimo’s Hawaiian Bar and Grill is one in every of many companies falling into the “newly-opened” class. The restaurant opened its downtown Clarksville location final 12 months.

“We wished to deliver aloha and Southern hospitality collectively,” co-owner Dar Place stated. The military veteran got here up with the idea after spending a decade stationed on the islands.

“We love Hawaii however we additionally love Tennessee, so we wished to deliver the meals and the ‘aloha’ and produce one thing completely different to Clarksville,” Place stated.

He began with a meals truck in 2015 and upgraded to a store close to Fort Campbell the subsequent 12 months. In 2019, he started getting ready to increase and add a location in Downtown Clarksville. The Franklin Avenue location was scheduled to open in early March, however the pandemic paused Place’s plans.

“We went from opening in three days, to 3 months glided by and we’re not capable of open up till July,” Place defined.

He stated the delay, together with restaurant restrictions and a gradual economic system, has left him in a gap.

“We’re behind in lease, we’re behind in wages, we’re behind in every part and simply attempting to remain open and it is robust,” he stated. Place needed to shut his Fort Campbell location to deal with the downtown store.

Making issues worse, the restaurant has been overlooked of each federal pandemic reduction payments.

“This authorities assist they’re speaking about, the place is it? As a result of it hasn’t gotten right here,” he stated.

Due to the timing of the enlargement and restructuring of his firm, federal officers think about Kimo’s Hawaiian Bar and Grill a “new enterprise.” To qualify for federal assist, retailers needed to be working earlier than Feb. 15, 2020, that means companies which have opened up within the final 12 months have largely been on their very own.

“We submitted for each little SBA mortgage program, and listen to ‘oh sorry you are a brand new proprietor so it does not apply,'” Place stated. “What can we qualify for? Going bankrupt? New companies deliver jobs and assist open the economic system however it’s like now, not solely do they not need us to be open however they need us to fail.”

So now, as lawmakers put together to debate one other spherical of reduction, Place hopes companies like his will lastly be included.

“I do not need authorities assist. However proper now we’d like it.”

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