Oakland County pledges $10 million in relief for bars and restaurants

closed restaurant bar
Posted at 10:53 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 05:48:21-05

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — Oakland County leaders unveiled a new relief program in the millions of dollars to help restaurants and bars struggling amid this pandemic.

It’s a $10 million relief program and is expected to help approximately a thousand restaurants and bars who are struggling to stay open.

“It’s horrible. I don’t know at this point what we’re going to do,” said Drew Ciora, owner of Royal Oak Brewery.

Ciora has owned the Royal Oak Brewery for 25 years. This year he was planning on a big celebration to mark the occasion. That has obviously changed.

“We were really excited. We had a lot of plans this year. We were going to some fun celebrating and through a party and the whole bit, and obviously, that’s not going to happen anymore,” he said.

Since this pandemic began Drew has been forced to find ways to try and stay open while continuing to pay bills and keep his employees employed. Unfortunately, Drew had to lay off 36 employees at the Royal Oak Brewery.

“We only employed about 35-40 percent of our people, we didn’t have the business. So we laid all those off except for a few key people,” he said.

Drew is not the only one, Patrick the owner of Beans and Cornbread says this grant will help his business out tremendously.

“Any type of relief we can receive while this pandemic is in place that will allow us to continue to employ people is great,” said Patrick Coleman, managing partner of Beans and Cornbread.

Help is on the way. Leaders in Oakland county announced the Oakland Together Relief Program that will give $10 million dollars to struggling restaurants.

“Restaurants and bars play such a critical role in Oakland County’s economy the vitality of our local downtowns. We are prepared and acted as quickly and swiftly as possible to rise to provide aid,” said Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chairman David Woodward.

The money will be divided among a thousand businesses that previously received stabilization, recovery, or restart grants from the county's CARES Act fund. Checks will be sent automatically and businesses don’t need to re-apply. Drew says this money will go a long way.

“It was nice to hear from Oakland County today. You know the amount of money that they're talking about isn’t going to save us but darn, it’s great,” said Drew.

If you are a bar or restaurant owner and want more information go to

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