Groups want unspent CARES Act money for business grants

Small businesses hoping for CARES Act money

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama has not yet spent about $960 million from the coronavirus relief fund. This is out of about $1.7 billion handed down to Alabama after the federal government passed the CARES Act.

And with time running out to spend that money, groups including the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association and the National Federation of Independent businesses are asking state leaders to dish out more grants for small businesses.

Governor Ivey announced earlier this year small businesses would receive a round of grants from that pot of money through the Revive Alabama grant program.

“Small businesses were able to get up to $15,000 that they could use for expenses related to the pandemic," Mindy Hanan with the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association said.

A survey from the association shows 28 percent of restaurants in Alabama could close in the next six months if they don’t receive money of help from the federal government.

Hanan said businesses are desperate and they did not expect the pandemic to last this long.

“We thought by this time, Congress would have acted and given another round of PPP, because quite frankly, our members are desperate," Hanan said. "If the state of Alabama has any cares act money that’s left, we have requested that they consider another round of the revive Alabama grants, because that would be very helpful.”

A spokesperson from the governor’s office said the governor is looking at using some of the leftover money for small businesses.

Alabama has until the end of the year to spend that money. And if they don’t, it’s sent back to the federal government. The federal government has tight restrictions on what that money can be used for.

Other groups like hospitals, cities and departments have received portions of the CARES Act to stay afloat during the pandemic.

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