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Cuomo’s Latest State Budget Proposal Includes $50M Restaurant Recovery Program

Plus, La Newyorkina, For All Things Good, and Sobre Masa team up on a menu of tamales — and more intel

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo holds daily media... Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Cuomo proposes budget with a $50 million restaurant recovery program

Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a handful of relief measures for the restaurant industry as part of the 2021-2022 budget proposal he presented on Tuesday. Included in his budget is a $130 million pandemic recovery and restoration program, which earmarks $50 million for restaurants to rehire staff, according to the publication New York Upstate. The program is subject to approval of the 2021-2022 budget from the New York state legislature.

Details on the program are still scarce, but the state’s budget director Robert Mujica tells New York Upstate that restaurants can apply for a $5,000 grant for each worker they hire. Each restaurant can rehire a maximum of 10 workers through the program for a maximum grant of $50,000. The funds are geared toward small businesses, though the state did not release eligibility criteria, and affected businesses will have to show they lost at least 40 percent of their revenue in late 2020 and early 2021 in order to apply. It’s not yet clear how or when restaurant owners can apply for these funds. Eater has reached out to the state for more information.

Following the release of the state’s budget on Tuesday, many in the restaurant industry denounced the measure saying it was a meager sum considering the tax revenues the restaurant industry typically contributes to the state — $27 billion in taxable sales in 2019, according to one estimate from state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office. What’s more, the fund for the restaurant is contingent upon New York State receiving $15 billion from President-elect Joe Biden’s administration to make up for a budget deficit. If the state does not receive that assistance from the federal government, the restaurant recovery program will be excluded from Gov. Cuomo’s budget.

In other news

— Restaurants across the city continue to turn their dining rooms into makeshift marketplaces. The latest addition comes from Italian restaurant Forsythia, which is now selling homemade pasta, sauces, truffle butter, and dessert for takeout and delivery.

— East Village wine bar Ruffian will briefly reopen its doors today and tomorrow following a winter hiatus. “Sales will help us with health insurance premiums and other bills as we wait for news on PPP round 2,” the bar shared in a post on Instagram.

— Ahead of Día de la Candelaria on February 2, the chefs at La Newyorkina, Sobre Masa, and For All Things Good are teaming up on a menu of pork- and cheese-filled tamales (six for $36 or a dozen for $60). Pre-order before January 30.

— West Village restaurant Planted is screening the inauguration proceedings from a TV in its heated outdoor terrace, with an inauguration-themed menu and free coffee and tea for customers. Reserve a table by calling 212-414-9500.

— A group of restaurateurs in Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood received outdoor heaters this week as part of the ongoing Dine Out NYC initiative, according to a spokesperson for the group.

— Restaurant workers gathered in the East Village on Tuesday to celebrate the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and called for a $15 federal minimum wage.

— Grub Street critic Adam Platt finds lots to love about the fried chicken from Pecking House in Queens.

— Winona’s, a cafe and natural wine bar that opened in Williamsburg this November, will offer heated outdoor dining starting this Thursday.

— Restaurateur Simon Oren has turned his East Village location of 5 Napkin Burger Express into a second location of his Israeli restaurant Tamam.

— Curbed steps inside the new Uber Eats-funded outdoor dining set-ups in Harlem.

— We peaked in the 14th century:

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