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Rochester restaurant owner still waiting on PPP funds as program begins to accept applications again


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As small businesses rush to apply for funds through the reopened paycheck protection program, one local restaurant owner is saying he can’t go much longer without the money.

Business are once again applying for relief from the Small Business Administration after the paycheck protection program started accepting new applications again on Monday.

Ross Mueller is still waiting for his Small Business Administration loan. He says without the funds, he just won’t be able to keep his business.

“We wouldn’t survive without it, I wouldn’t open back up it’s very simple,” Owner of Native and Label 7 Ross Mueller said.

A restaurant owner and Native in downtown Rochester, Mueller like many others rushed to get assistance during the first round of loans from the SBA. He was approved for funds through the paycheck protected program before the system crashed, but is still waiting for the money. 

“The PPP part of the CARES act it’s obviously important for restaurants or somebody like like me who hasn’t even stayed open for take out,” Mueller said.

Monday, the program started accepting applications again. The amount of business rushing to submit applications temporarily caused the shutting down the website within hours.

Leaders with the Greater Rochester Enterprise weren’t surprised, saying many Rochester business need the money to avoid layoffs or closures and some can use the money in preparation for reopening.

“I know companies that did not get in are eager to get back into the window. They’re glad that it’s refunded and there’s another opportunity to engage,” Matt Hurlbutt, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said.

“The timing is interesting too because with the ability to potentially reopen, this provides in a way some bridge funding to keep that business on solid footing as things hopefully come back online,” said Hurlbutt.

Mueller said the money could help him open his Pittsford location for take out, but he’s not expecting the restaurant business to get back to normal soon and says the money only helps if the customers come back.

“The loan is great in a sense but I’m really holding on to the fact that they’re going to tweak it a little bit, as soon as we do get those funds the anticipation will bring all these people back,” said Mueller.

There is $310 billion available through the program, Greater Rochester Enterprise experts said to gather the correct documents and apply now if you haven’t to have the best change at getting the money.

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