PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – Small business owners can look forward to some help during the coronavirus pandemic as Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg, both in Pinellas County, FL, announced grants to help local small businesses, ABC Action News WFTS Tampa Bay reported on April 9.
The new grant programs launched on April 9 and “unlike SBA loans, the money does not need to be paid back to city leaders,” Action News reported.
The many local Greek-American businesses can look forward to the grants during this difficult time.
“Demetrios Salivaris’ family owns two restaurants in the Sponge Docks area of Tarpon Springs: Mykonos and Dimitri’s On The Water,” Action News reported, adding that “Mykonos is still filling to go orders, but Salivaris says business is down about 80%.”
“This has really put a dent in every person’s pocket in this town,” Salivaris told Action News, adding that “in 25 years, he’s never seen Tarpon Springs so empty.”
Salivaris said, Action News reported, “It’s rough. It’s really rough. It’s hard for me to keep a smile on my face but I have to. If my staff sees me down then who do they have to look up to?”
However, the grant programs offer some hope for Salivaris who told Action News, “I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really do.”
Both Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg “are also stressing the importance of shopping and dining local” when the COVID-19 crisis finally ends, Action News reported.
“The small shops are what makes our communities like Tarpon Springs special. You could come here 20 years ago and come today and there hasn’t been a change. It’s still the same town. That’s the charm. You can leave and come back and you haven’t missed a thing,” Salivaris told Action News.
“Both St. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs say around 100 businesses applied for the grant within the first day of the applications being posted online,” Action News reported.