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San Antonio to consider nearly $31 million for small businesses struggling with COVID recovery

On Thursday, city council could consider a plan to distribute ARPA funds to small businesses that need it.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio will be considering another measure to help small businesses bounce back from COVID.

Thursday, city council will consider approving a plan to provide $30.9 million in ARPA funded grants. At least one business says the help is needed, but for different reasons.

San Antonio staples like Nadler’s Bakery and Deli consider themselves lucky.

“We didn’t suffer too much during COVID, but I think we’re suffering a whole lot right now,” owner Alexia Nadler Mendez, running her father’s business says their latest battle is trying to find help.

“Bakers are hard to come by, decorators are not coming by, and that’s my business, and so then you stress out the employees that are here,” she said.

While her business is dealing with the after-effects of COVID, city leaders say many local businesses did not survive the pandemic.

“Restaurants were decimated, right? 30-plus percent of local businesses in San Antonio shut their doors and will never come back,” Manny Pelaez, District 8 city councilman told KENS 5.

Councilman Pelaez says the city is partnering with the non-profit group LiftFund to distribute the dollars.

If approved by city council Thursday—Pelaez says they hope the money would go out within the next 90 days.

Businesses will have to apply for the program once its established, and any prospective businesses will have metrics attached to money they may receive.

“They have to sit down with these experts and figure out what other wraparound services we can offer these businesses to not just give them a one-time cash infusion, but also give them the tools necessary to be resilient in the future,” Pelaez said.

Nadler’s took advantage of other programs like PPP and SBA loans.

Nadler Mendez says they’re paying them back—but would like to focus their funds on new employees.

“I would never turn away free money, but if I had to sit down and think about it, nothing’s free, we’re going to have to pay for it somewhere,” Nadler Mendez said.

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