Philadelphia announces COVID-19 restaurant and gym relief program

It’s the news restaurant and gym owners in Philadelphia have been waiting for amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The city announced Friday a $12 million grant program aimed at helping businesses.

 "The Philadelphia Restaurant and Gym Relief Program is a $12 million grant program designed to provide financial relief to small businesses in Philadelphia that have been among the most adversely affected," Karen Fegely, deputy commerce director for the City of Philadelphia, said.

Businesses like Fitness Works gym. Manager Joeseph Renzi has been frustrated over the most recent shutdown.

"This most recent shutdown was really hard because a lot of people, we were all following the protocol and it still didn’t help," he explained.

He adds since the first shutdown, they’ve lost 50% of their normal business, which makes every bit of help he gets precious.

"It’ll help with maintenance on the building, it's going to help us with the mortgage, it’s going to help us with payroll, it’s just gonna help kind of bridge the gap from the massive hit that gyms and restaurants took this year," he said.

 So how does the program work and who qualifies?

"Businesses that were under $2 million annual revenue pre-COVID in 2019 that’s sort of the big one. Businesses that occupy a physical space, businesses that are independently owned," Fegely said.

She also says this is also aimed at restaurants that had little flexibility.

 "Restaurants that really lost out by having to, not allowed to operate their indoor dining part of their business for the last couple months."

 As far as what each business could receive that's going to vary. 

"We are expecting that we are going to give grants between $5,000 and $15, 000," Fegely said.

 Eligible business owners can apply online at, beginning at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9. 


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