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More than 1,800 Iowa restaurants qualified for pandemic aid money but got nothing

The Iowa Restaurant Association says more than 1,800 restaurants qualified for money from Congress' Restaurant Revitalization Fund, but got nothing.
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 11:37 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - The Iowa Restaurant Association says more than 1,800 restaurants qualified for money from Congress’ Restaurant Revitalization Fund, but got nothing.

The fund was put in place to help restaurants hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

KCCI reports about 2,600 Iowa restaurants applied for, and were eligible for, the fund, but only about 850 of them received any money before the fund ran out.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund promised the remaining 1,800 restaurants about $245 million, but it was never paid out.

Jessica Dunker, with the Iowa Restaurant Association, told KCCI it’s crucial for the federal government to put more money into the fund before struggling restaurants go under.

“What happened to restaurants during COVID is all of our reserve was depleted,” Dunker said. “We worked our way all the way through that. So that will help us replenish our reserves and have the kind of dollars that we had to keep our businesses operating when times are slow seasonally.”

Senator Joni Ernst, along with Representatives Ashley Hinson and Cindy Axne have all come out in support of putting more money into the fund.

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