ELYRIA, Ohio — It’s been slow at the Midway Oh Boy Restaurant in Elyria.
"Normally these seats are all full,” said Kim Disbrow, the daughter of the restaurant owners.
Customers are working hard to support the longtime community staple, but the cost of food and other things they need to stay open is increasing.
"We don’t want to just raise the prices and put it all on the customers but at some point in time we can’t only break even, we’ve got to make some money,” said Disbrow.
Luckily the city of Elyria just got $1.6 million through the federal government CARES Act.
The money goes directly to help communities across the country rebound from the many impacts of COVID-19.
More than $300,000 will help small businesses in Elyria, which they can apply for directly from the city.
"The funds can be used for direct response to COVID, for reconfiguring or reopening your operations,” said Dawn Calvert, the director of economic transformation and business services for the City of Elyria.
Calvert says this money from the CARES ACT will give a big boost to the city already in recovery before the pandemic hit.
"We are a post-industrial town that’s looking for growth in the future, so we absolutely have some struggles but we have a really great economic base and our people are our best assets,” said Calvert.
The money isn’t just for struggling businesses.
"We’ve noticed a huge amount of traffic, and actually have had back to back record months,” said Tony Caldwell, owner and president of You Drive Auto.
Caldwell says he’s been able to add four new jobs and hopes to apply for some grant money to help make back to school easier for his customers.
"That’s going to be difficult on the parents, the utility bills are going to go up, they’re going to have to go out and buy computers, some of those families might not have that stuff,” said Caldwell.
Small Elyria Businesses can apply for CARES Act funding here.
Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and allocations will be decided by the Elyria Economic Development Committee.