More help: Restaurant Revitalization Grant aims at helping local businesses amid COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Grants are one way small businesses have made it during the Coronavirus pandemic, and this week a new grant focused on restaurants is open for businesses in need.

"We are blessed that we are still here in the business," said Miguel Vidales, owner of Lee's Grocery Store & Las Princesas Taqueria.

It's no secret businesses across the Central Valley were hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many having to close, and others are just getting by.

"It's been rough, a very rough year since the beginning, " said Vidales.

The Vidales family had operated Lee's Grocery Store and its indoor restaurant, "Las Princesas" in Fowler for just one year before COVID-19 struck.

"It was hard because we started building our name and right when we picked up the business, COVID happened and it brought us down, " said Libet Villa, owner, Lee's Grocery Store,& Las Princesas Taqueria.

Their only way back up has been through grants like the PPP loan and the California Relief Grant.

"We used that as a relief for us to fill us the store a little," said Vidales.

"The loan helped us breathe because we were just barely getting by," said Villa.

Monday, the window opened for the Restaurant Revitalization Grant, another opportunity for small businesses to pick themselves up.

"The special thing about this is they are specifically holding a 21-day period for people who are economically and socially disadvantaged," said Santino De La Cruz, Valley Communications SBDC Consultant.

De La Cruz says the money will go quickly and encourages businesses to enroll sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, the Vidales family remains hopeful through these challenging times and hasn't forgotten why they took over the small business in the first place.

"I am happy with where we are at. I want to give the community something, a place where they can come and feel comfortable, " said Villa.

A goal they say the pandemic didn't push away.

For more information, you can email Santino De La Cruz at Santino@accountabilityfirm.com or visit the grant's website.
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