Black-owned Norfolk restaurant hopeful after small business PPP credit opens

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Applications for small businesses run until March 9th.

NORFOLK, Virginia. – It’s the smallest of the small businesses.

Ericka Crowder, cook and owner of Cutta’s kitchenwho works with Desiree Crowder, her mother.

They are the only two employees at the restaurant on 35th Street in Norfolk.

“Time consuming, definitely time consuming. I always work, “Ericka told 13News Now on Thursday.

The room is small, cozy. Its close-knit rooms create the charm of the restaurant and what Ericka loves about it.

“I wanted something smaller just so I could be in control of every aspect of it. I can see what’s going on out here while I’m cooking, “she said.

It’s the small and intimate setting that gives the restaurant its personal charm, but also amplifies the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were just at the point where our feet got wet, ready to take off. But it definitely slowed us down, it closed us for two months. “

When the pandemic first broke out, Ericka said the cancellation of the MEAC basketball tournament and Something in the Water festival had a huge impact on her business. But relief is on the way Companies like Cutta’s Kitchen, and many more across the country.

Starting February 24, the US Small Business Administration will begin the application process for Paycheck Protection Loans, specifically aimed at businesses with 20 or fewer employees.

Ericka Crowder, who did not take out any PPP loans in 2020, will apply for this funding round.

“They’re really trying to give it to the smaller companies over the bigger ones, which I think is really cool.”

Ericka said one of the reasons they didn’t chase her before was that she wasn’t sure if the only two-staff restaurant would even be an option.

The week-long window, which runs through March 9, gives America’s smallest businesses the chance to get PPP loans without giving priority to larger businesses.

“This will definitely take the pressure off and give me some space to try a few new things. At the moment we have to stick to what we know because we have bills to pay, “said Ericka.

Further information on the application process can be found at US Small Business Administration website.

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