Business owners await the governor’s signing of a bill that spans $ 180 million for the hospitality and tourism industries

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SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of restaurants, theaters, and other businesses in Texas affected by the pandemic could receive cash thanks to an ongoing grant program.

Texas lawmakers added $ 180 million to support local hospitality and tourism businesses Senate Act 8, the Federal Pandemic Aid Act.

Blanca Aldaco, the owner of Aldaco’s Stone Oak restaurant, said this ongoing hospitality and tourism promotion program couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Everything is on the rise, from protein to the containers for our take-away meals,” Aldaco said.

Aldaco said their business continues to be felt under the effects of the pandemic.

“Our business is definitely in decline. We’ve been down about 30% since the pandemic started, ”Aldaco said.

One of the ways Aldaco said they would use the money from the scholarship would be to pay for the restaurant’s licenses.

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“I have a feeling that many of the stores that are still open will continue to use it, for example to advertise – think about how you can attract new customers and how you can control their costs,” Aldaco said.

Dawn Ann Larios, executive director of the Texas Restaurant Association West Region, said many restaurants are still struggling.

“Beef has gone up, fats and oils. Eggs are on top. Processed poultry is on the rise. Flour is on. They call it. Prices have gone up astronomically, so our restaurants still need help, ”Larios said.

The Texas Restaurant Association worked with many organizations to add hospitality and tourism grants to the Senate Bill 8.

“Every little bit helps, and we won’t stop until our restaurants are out of this pandemic,” Larios said.

Larios said they are now waiting for the governor to sign this bill to learn more about how the funds will be distributed.

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“This money … won’t bring back a lot of the stores that are already closed, but it will definitely be very effective for the stores that are still open,” Aldaco said.

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