Olvera Street businesses slowly recovering, hoping for relief from $28 billion Biden program

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Olvera Street stores hope for relief from Biden program
Restaurants along historic Olvera Street are among Los Angeles businesses hoping for help from the Biden administration's $28.6 billion restaurant relief program.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As restaurants and other businesses struggle to overcome the huge financial impact left by the pandemic, President Joe Biden is promoting his $28.6 billion restaurant relief program.

The federal program lets bars and restaurants apply for grants to make up for revenue lost during the pandemic, with limits of $10 million per business and $5 million per location.

Biden says it will help businesses come out of the hole.

RELATED: President Biden promotes restaurant relief program

President Joe Biden touts his administration's $28.6 billion restaurant relief program, part of the broader $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

In Los Angeles, many of the restaurants and stores along historic Olvera Street fell into such a hole during the pandemic and hope the federal program, along with the easing of restrictions, can help them climb out.

The Cinco de Mayo holiday is normally a big day for businesses along Olvera. But Wednesday, the crowds were modest and no big parties were allowed. Two of the biggest restaurants remained closed.

Edward Flores of Juanita's Cafe said his business is down almost 90% compared to 2019 but things are slowly starting to come back to life.

"Last year I nearly went out of business and a few of us did as well on Olvera Street," Flores said.

Now, he said, he's starting to see people come back.

Another restaurant owner says business is down 40%.

Debbie Briano, owner of El Rancho Grande restaurant, says social distancing rules don't allow her to put out as many tables.

"The seating arrangement is totally different," Briano said. "We can't have all our tables here right now so it's a lot smaller than it normally would be."

Several business owners on Olvera Street say they have already applied for help from the Biden program.

Most businesses on Olvera Street are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and stay open an hour or two later on weekends.

Business owners seeking to apply for the federal relief program can find out more at sba.gov/restaurants.