Local restaurant owner shares pandemic experience – KWCH

Restaurant News

WICHITA, Kan. – Congress approved the $500 billion dollar aid package. It’s now headed to President Trump for his signature. The package includes $321 billion dollars for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses pay employees.

It’s all an effort to help small businesses survive the pandemic. The PPP loans are forgiven as long as employees stay on payroll. The first round of the program offered a total for $350 billion dollars to small businesses. More than $4.2 billion ended up here in Kansas, which is more than what lawmakers expected. Several business owners told Eyewitness News they were frustrated about the process and had issues applying.

Cliff Braff, the owner of Milkfloat in Delano says it was a smooth process for him.

He applied for three aid programs: the PPP, a SBA disaster relief loan and an additional grant from the SBA.

The only one he’s heard back from so far is the PPP and he is getting money Friday. Bragg says it took two weeks from the time he sent in his application to its approval. Bragg says he didn’t get frustrated because he knew this process was brand new for everyone.

“I only have so much mental space and I’m not going to deplete it on blaming other people. I think this is a challenging situation for everyone, for everyone, so it’s something that I just expected from the start that there were going to be hiccups and there were going to be delays,” Bragg says.

While some restaurants shifted to take out and delivery, Milkfloat shut down entirely. Bragg says it’s all about keeping the community and his employees safe. He felt that he needed to go all in.

Milkfloat staff looks ahead to reopening, but that won’t be until after stay at home orders are lifted. Bragg says that decision is about following the law, but also doing whatever customers are most comfortable with. He says the restaurant will never be the same and is preparing to make changes, but he does not know what those changes will be. Bragg says through it all, he is blown away by the support for locally owned restaurants at this time.

“People conveying to us how deeply they want us to open again like how much they desire that and how much they can’t for that to happen has been so humbling and grounding and it’s like – yes, this is why we are here. and I love this community so much,” Bragg says.

As soon as the aid package gets a signature from President Trump, the additional PPP funds will be available. If a small business submitted an application too late for the first round of loans, it does not have to apply again. The applications submitted that did not get funding the first time will be processed and paid out first.

Source: Thanks https://www.kwch.com/content/news/Local-restaurant-owner-shares-pandemic-experience-569918181.html