Rochester city officials accused of not helping small businesses through COVID-19 Pandemic |

Rochester city officials accused of not helping small businesses through COVID-19 Pandemic

Jaclyn Harold
Created: November 16, 2020 07:41 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- Local businesses struggling to keep their doors open are reaching their breaking point. Some even blaming Rochester City leaders for the lack of business and support in the downtown area.

The owner of The Tap House let her frustration boil over on social media Sunday night. She claimed that the city has not helped keep the downtown area alive and that by adding more and more restrictions, it's only becoming more difficult to survive.

The post claims the bar has had to recently lay off more staff and that it's the city's responsibility to ensure those affected by the pandemic can still make money. The post also stated that the business had not received its awarded funding from the Liquor Licensing Grant program.

The post gained over 500 likes and other reactions. Over 210 people shared the post, and some even commented agreeing that the city is to blame.

"I think we've done a number of great things in a short amount of time," said Aaron Parrish, the Rochester Deputy City Administrator.

When discussing CARES Act funding, and the several programs the city allocated money to in order to help small businesses, Parrish said Tap House was one business that benefitted from all the city-funded programs. 

"They received utility assistance administered via Rochester Public Utilities, (RPU) approximately $3,300 dollars for each location. They were awarded Federal PPP funding, Sidewalk Cafe Grant funding in the amount of $4,000 dollars and were the beneficiary, and the amounts are confidential to us but of the RDA program that was donor-funded," said Parrish.

In reference to the Liquor Licensing Grant that was awarded to Tap House in the amount of $4,500 dollars for each location, Parrish said there was an error that held up the funding.

"They were awarded the funding but the voucher and the check hadn't been processed so we are in the process of doing that and we're very apologetic for that delay." 

Parrish said though the city empathizes with all of the businesses experiencing hardships right now, there was just not enough funding to support every single business in the community. He said the City has helped with what funding was available from the federal government, and he's proud of what the city has been able to do.

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