Small businesses impacted by recent water outages respond to city’s $7 million recovery fund

ATLANTA — Small businesses impacted by the recent water outages are saying ‘oh what a relief it is’ after the Atlanta City Council voted to add millions of dollars to a recovery fund to help them get back on their feet.

Several businesses had no idea the council passed this legislation Monday evening. And they were surprised they acted so quickly after the crises...they said something like this usually takes months.

“I’m actually shocked and amazed,” said LeZonn Miller, one of the managing partners at the Hudson Grille restaurant near State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta. “You actually shocked me.”

Miller couldn’t believe it when Jones told him the council had set up a $7.5 million Recovery Fund to assist small businesses and their employees affected by the recent water outages.

“Definitely shocking to see how fast government moved in this instance,” he said.

It was a unanimous vote.

Councilman Matt Westmoreland explained why it was so important to pass this legislation and start the process of helping businesses recover.

“We want to make sure we have the ability to support every small business, who would like some help,” said Westmoreland.

Several water main breaks earlier this month left businesses high and dry after the water outages. Hudson Grille had to close for two days on a Friday and Saturday.

And with Megan Thee Stallion scheduled to perform at State Farm Arena, the concerts were canceled and rescheduled for the following week.

Miller says the cancellations and closures hurt his business.

“We were fully staffed and prepared for those two days, and it was out of nowhere it was like time to shut it down,” said Miller.

That meant no revenue for businesses and no income for employees. It’s why the council wanted to act fast.

“This was driven by a need and desire to help those businesses immediately impacted,” a member of the council stated.

Miller says he’s happy the city recognizes how important businesses are.

Jones asked if he planned to apply for the funds.

“Yes sir. Yes. sir. Immediately,” he said.

Invest Atlanta will be in charge of dispersing the funds.

The application process starts next Monday.

The city wants those funds dispersed by the end of the month.

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