CLEVELAND — The pandemic hit small businesses in Northeast Ohio, and across the country, hard. Add to that the impact of supply chain issues and many small businesses were, and some still are, at risk of going under. But a grant program that continues to be offered is helping keep many owners afloat.
Sam Sylk, known in Cleveland first as a local DJ and radio host before opening a chain of chicken and fish restaurants in his name in 2015, was helped by that grant program—called the EIDL Program—through the Small Business Administration.
Sam Sylk's Chicken and Fish has seven locations with more than 60 employees. The chain began struggling in the pandemic when it was forced to make the switch to take-out only services. Sylk decided to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program and the EIDL Program, which helped him keep his restaurants open and staff on his payroll.
"It helped us get some improvements that we needed to get done. You had things that break down, you know, day to day things that it takes to be able to to operate your business," Sylk said.
Gil Goldberg, the district director of the Northern Ohio SBA, said that the EIDL Program has helped nearly 87,000 small businesses in Ohio get more than $6 billion in loans.
Even with all that help, Goldberg said there is still money available.
"We have up to December 31st, and there's a $150 billion remaining in the program," Goldberg said.
Now, the maximum amount of $500,000 per business has been increased to a maximum of $2 million.
Local small businesses are encouraged to apply for the grants. To apply, click here.
After being helped by the grants, Sylk is paying it forward to the community, hosting a coat drive for kids in need. To learn more, click here.
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