October 26, 2021
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WILMINGTON – Some of the state’s biggest restaurant names have secured six-figure loans through the Delaware Small Business Division Going through the emergency reception loan program (HELP) before it closes on October 15.
Popular restaurants and eateries like two separate franchises of The Greene Turtle, Harry Savoy’s Grill, Pat’s Pizza in Lewes and Caffe Gelato were among the program’s top 10 loan recipients, according to data released by the state. They were among 364 companies that received between $ 180,000 and $ 482,340 in state-guaranteed loans.
The HELP program was created by Governor John Carney last year as a way to lend financial assistance to the hospitality industry, as many have been hit hard by social distancing guidelines and periodic shutdowns. Loans were capped at $ 10,000 per month for a business that had been in business for at least a year and had annual sales of less than $ 2.5 million.
The loans have a term of 10 years with deferred payments of nine months, but favorably without interest.
According to a Delaware Business Times analysis, according to a Delaware Business Times analysis, about 255 were restaurants, eateries, breweries, bars, and caterers. The total includes approximately 50 personal care businesses (salons, spas, and tanning shops); 25 places of entertainment and recreation; 24 hotels and accommodation; and 11 gymnasiums.
“This continues to show that restaurants have been hit harder by the pandemic than any other business,” President of the Delaware Restaurant Association and CEO Carrie Leishman noted. “We are so grateful that we were able to secure many rounds of these loans and grants – more than any across the state – because early on, it helped many restaurants survive.”
In total, the program allocated $ 10.7 million to 364 companies. In February, the state reported that 307 companies had received a HELP loan, indicating that the program had become less popular in the past six months. The state-run program would have been less popular than the federal paycheck protection (P3) program, where loans were ultimately canceled for the most part if companies met multiple requirements.
Among the main recipients were two limited liability companies registered with The Greene Turtle in New Castle County, with a combined amount of $ 482,340. With the sports bar chain franchised, a second Greene Turtle owned by Pusan Investments raised $ 384,092.
Harry Savoy’s Grill received $ 345,204 through the state program, while Pat’s Pizza in Lewes received $ 192,612 and Caffe Gelato received $ 180,000.
Downtown Wilmington restaurants and bars also built on the program, with Bardea, Stitch House Brewery, Crow Bar, Toscana, Constitution Yards Beer Garden and Wilmington Brew Works among the beneficiaries.
The mainstays of the Newark food scene, Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen and Martuscelli Restaurant Group, Klondike Kate’s and La Casa Pasta also benefited from the funds.
Rehoboth Beach favorites like Dolle’s Candyland and Touch of Italy received HELP funding, while two restaurants in the Off The Hook restaurant group received support. La Vida Hospitality Group, known for Crooked Hammock and Big Chill Beach Club, has also secured loans.
Loan sizes varied widely, but more than half of businesses received $ 10,000 in financing and 32 businesses received six-figure loans. The average loan amount was $ 29,503, according to a DBT analysis.
“Some small businesses may not have the resources to finance themselves during the early stages of the pandemic, but they may not have been keen on getting into debt so early. Restaurants are known to have low profit margins, and without HELP loans they might not have been successful, ”Leishman noted.
The data also shows that 13 local and regional restaurant chains and franchises have received funding. This includes three Saladworks, two Manhattan Bagels, two Capriotti’s, a Checkers, Aunt Anne’s Pretzels, and the Twisted Yogurt, among others. Wilmington-based El Diablo Burritos, with five locations in New Castle County, got the biggest amount from those chains at $ 161,084.
Aside from the Greene Turtles owned by Pursan LLC, only four entities spanning multiple counties have received HELP loans and all are local groups: Arena ($ 81,424) with six locations in Kent and Sussex counties; Brick Works Brewing and Eats ($ 40,986) with a location in Smyrna and Milford each; Arena ($ 81,424) with six locations in Kent and Sussex counties; Ashby Hospitality Group ($ 100,000), which owns Deer Park Tavern, Cantwell’s Tavern in Odessa, and McGlynns Pub; and Touch of Italy ($ 167,875) which has numerous locations on Delaware beaches and closed its Wilmington restaurant last spring.
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