The fact that federal COVID-19 relief funds were made available to restaurant owners who faced unprecedented challenges is no surprise; a variety of grant money was made available for those eating establishments that applied.  However, it may come as a surprise to many that the majority of restaurants never received the funding that they applied for.

According to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal, only "one in three Wisconsin restaurant applicants [ended u p with a] COVID relief grant".  That number leaves Wisconsin restaurant owners tracking with the national average.  "Of the 5,871 Wisconsin businesses that requested more than $994 million in federal funding, only 2,095 businesses were approved for about $379 million."  Compare that to the national applicant numbers.  The article in the Journal goes on to share that:

"[a]ll told, the Small Business Administration received more than 278,000 applications for an available $28.5 billion in grant funds.  With about 101,000 applications approved, there remains another roughly 177,000 business nationwide that did not receive funds."

The grant money available from the Small Business Administration was for the dollar amounts "surpassed [by] any federal Paycheck Protection Program funding"; those dollars were available to businesses to "cover workforce costs during the pandemic".

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To add further salt to the wounds of those businesses trying to navigate through the economics of the pandemic, some of the previously-approved grant funds were halted.  The shut-off of funds came as a result of three lawsuits that are currently making their way through the court system.  Each of the business owners affected received a letter that spelled out the halt on their funding "because the legal conclusions in these court rulings would preclude payment."

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