The $2 trillion stimulus funds such as PPP (Paycheck Protection Plan) were just recently made available—$349 billion allotted for small businesses—and already it’s completely gone. We have to ask, where did the money go?
As it turns out, more than just small businesses were going after it. A recent GQ article calls out Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse as a large recipient (like $20M) of PPP dollars. And after reading through this article, you’ll be scratching your head, with so many small businesses in the US trying to survive (estimated one out of five won’t), why did Ruth’s make the cut? Like the ship which is sinking and the rich are escorted first to the only lifeboat—who is receiving these SB loans in our SLC community?
“Becky (my wife) and I start a live Instagram show Sundays at 2pm to talk tea and tea-cocktails. Our customers have been amazing, our online orders are what is keeping us afloat.”—Scott Lyttle, Owner Tea Zaanti, Sugar House
Well, for starters, Tea Zaanti didn’t. Scott and Becky Lyttle, Owners of SLC’s local Tea Zaanti share their SB loan-seeking horror story:
Tea Zaanti (1944 South 1100 East) is a small tea shop in the heart of Sugar House. The business recently relocated after spending six-months renovating a beautiful old building to create a communi-tea space for neighbors to have a comfortable spot for a cup of tea (or wine) and snack. “We closed our old location on February 11 and finally passed all the Health Department, DABC and City inspections in early March (no small feat). To kick things off we hosted a “friends and family” event and opened our doors to the public on March 11 only to close them four days later,” says Scott.
“We have been very conservative in our approach to business and encouraging folks to stay-at-home. We provided free packaged tea pickup for two weeks and switched to offering free shipping for all orders over $15 through our website. We will be switching back to free pickup on April 22. We are forecasting a 40-50% drop in revenue over the next 7 months, 25% of our business is through our wholesale accounts, which are all closed or doing 15% of their business. But we’ve made a commitment to keep our employees on staff—we had to reduce our manager from full-time to 20hrs/week. We created Educate-From-Home projects, encouraging staff to enhance their knowledge of tea and wine, create new customer engagement ideas, and we all virtually watch a documentary together weekly.”
The Loan Process:
Here’s how it didn’t work for us:
SLC ELP – we got rejected first round and haven’t heard about the second round
Utah Leads Together loan – we got rejected first round and haven’t heard about the second round
PPP – we got rejected first round and we are hoping a second round will come available
“We understand that these opportunities are a bonus and have been put together very quickly, but from our standpoint, they have been mismanaged from the beginning. Let me be clear, due to the fact that we purchased a building in September of 2019, we’ve been knee-deep in renovations, inspections and opening a new space—our books needed some attention. We’ve addressed that. That being said, no one has been available to help guide us through any of these applications and most of the portals get overwhelmed and shut down, locking you out of the application or deleting your information, meaning that you are required to start over.”
“The PPP through our bank has been the worst. We filled out step one of the application within two hours of getting the application link. One week passed, no word. Finally, we were asked to log in and we’d be asked for additional information. We weren’t given a heads-up asto what information would be asked of us. So I logged in and they asked for payroll data, our 941 forms, all of which I have, but needed to organize to provide the correct information. While I was organizing the documents, the portal timed me out of my session and wouldn’t allow me back into the application. THen I got a message saying my application was in the final stages. So I emailed my contact at the bank, and I emailed a general address, telling them I still owed information but couldn’t get in the system to add it. Next thing I know I’m reading the money has run out. I email my banker and he tells me it looks like we were pre-approved. And then I get an email saying that we didn’t receive funding for this round because we were missing information from our application – no kidding!!!!”
“Now we hope that funding might be available in a second round for each program.”
And with all our hearts, we at SLmag hope second rounds go better too, for you at Tea Zaanti and other small and deserving businesses that need this. Own a small business? How did your PPP or loan application process go? Please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay well SLC, and for all the powers that be in this mess, get on it.
Why is the Pleasant Grove theme park Evermore suing one of the most powerful women in music? Long story short: a playground for those who would choose lore over folklore is taking on Taylor Swift over the name of her most recent album. Both parties have their reputation on the line in a battle of undercover Swifties and novelty mug disputes. Will Evermore hit the gold rush? Or did they cross the wrong mad woman? The full story is at the link in our bio....
Even in the exploration boom of the 1800s, nobody dared to explore the terrain flowing through the Green and the Colorado Rivers.
That is, nobody until Major John W. Powell said the 19th Century equivalent of “Hey man, hold my beer while I try this.”
Read more about his dangerous expedition at the link in our bio!
Photo of Powell’s expedition courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division...
Whose mouth is watering? 🙋♀️😋
@granarybakehouse_slc is a small, immaculate and intimate 9th and 9th bakery with some of the best laminated pastry in town. (That means golden flakes that get all over your car because you can’t wait until you get home to take a bite.)🥖🥐🧈
Read more about Granary Bakehouse at the link in our bio! ❤️...
A brand new issue of Salt Lake magazine is coming your way!
We can't wait to share these stories with you. This issue includes our annual Blue Plate Awards celebrating those surviving and thriving in the restaurant biz. Plus, we take a road trip to Wyoming and ask why the only Utah passenger on the Titanic didn’t survive her journey.
A note from our editor Jeremy Pugh, including beautiful tributes to Mary Brown Malouf from our friends in the community, is online now. Read more at the link in our bio ❤️
Subscribers: Look for this issue in your mailbox soon. The magazine will be on newsstands March 1! 📬...
Today, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Blue Plate Awards! 🎉
These prizes honor the growers, food evangelists, grocers, servers, bakers, chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs who do more than put good food on the table—they make our community a better place to live. This year, just surviving as a local business deserves an award, but each of our Blue Plate winners did more than that. They made us grateful for every person involved in the essential act of feeding us. 🍽
At the link in our bio, we have the full list of winners, a celebration of feats of COVID creativity and a tribute to restaurants we lost this year. If you’re hungry for more, pick up a copy on newsstands March 1! Plus, check out our Instagram for spotlights on some of the Blue Plate winners.
This year’s Blue Plate Awards are the first without our beloved Executive Editor Mary Brown Malouf. We dedicate them to her, our town’s biggest food fan, critic and champion. xoxomm 💙...
2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @ricobrandut for Staying in Beansness
Last summer, it seemed that Rico would be another victim of rapid gentrification in Salt Lake. Luckily, Rico was able to find a new home in Poplar Grove and now plans to add even more employees. It’s a last-minute happy ending for a community leader who literally wears his mission on his sleeve, courtesy a tattoo in bright red block letters: “pay it forward.” 💙...
2021 Blue Plate Award Winner: @spicekitchenincubator for Keeping the Spice Flowing
This year Spice Kitchen Incubator, already an essential resource for refugees, became, well, even more essential. 💙...
2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @thestore_utah for Special Deliveries
As grocery delivery becomes the new norm, The Store offers a personal touch that only an independent grocer can provide. Last March, high-risk and elderly customers began calling in their grocery lists over the phone, and The Store’s general managers personally delivered food to their homes. 💙...
2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @cucinaslc for Preserving Neighborhood Connection
Cucina’s outdoor spaces became a place where the neighborhood could gather safely. Owner Dean Pierose offered free coffee in the mornings and encouraged his regulars to linger and commiserate together, preserving a semblance of society during a socially distanced time. 💙...
2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @oquirrhslc for Betting the Bottom Dollar
When COVID-19 hit Salt Lake City, Oquirrh co-owners Andrew and Angelena Fullers' dream was seriously damaged. But the Fullers keep trying to follow the rules. 💙...
2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @hearth_and_hill for Opening Doors
As the pandemic ravages independent restaurants, Hearth and Hill has reaffirmed its commitment to small businesses in Park City and used its large dining room as an informal gathering space for the city. 💙...
2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @fisherbrewing for Creative Canning
This year, Fisher found ways to utilize their beer, taproom space and canning capabilities for good. They created special lines of limited edition beers in custom cans to help raise funds for local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. 💙...
@oquirrhslc is the kind of restaurant Salt Lake was slowly becoming famous for—chef-run, definitively local, deserving of awards and stars.
Now, a year into the pandemic, co-owners Andrew and Angelena Fuller are doing everything they can to keep Oquirrh alive. There are no days off, and they are serving all kinds of to-go orders to stay afloat, from burgers to charcuterie boards. 🍽
Independent restaurants like Oquirrh need our help! Tonight, order takeout from Oquirrh—or your favorite neighborhood spot—and support these essential members of our community. ❤️...
A wind storm #tbt for your feed today. 🌬️🛹
2020 was a long, long, loooong year, so we asked local photographers to share what the new normal looked like through their eyes. The link is in our bio!...
“Ballet dancers are all about achieving a continuous ‘line’ from the tops of our heads to the tips of our toes,” says @balletwest1 First Soloist Katlyn Addison. “Most of my life, I didn’t even think about how the pinkish tights and shoes sort of cut me in half visually, but the first time I saw a black woman like me wearing tights that matched her skin, I thought, ‘Wow, that really works for her instead of against her.’”
Check the link in bio for full story....
Melissa Diaz, owner and baker at @sweet_vinyl_bakeshop, calls herself a “baketender.” And that’s because, in addition to the usual sugar, flour, vanilla, etc., her cupcakes are flavored with beer and liquor from local brewers and distillers. So, Imperial Stout cupcakes, champagne cupcakes, bourbon maple chocolate cupcakes… you get the point. 🧁🍺
Check the link in bio for full story....
“We’ve had to make some very tough decisions regarding staffing and operations to get through difficult times, but we’ve leaned ontechnology to help us adapt,” Nick Gradinger, co-founder of @vesselkitchen explains. “We transformed our business to facilitate seamless online ordering and curbside pickup. It’s helped create a safer environment for our customers while still delivering the quality of food and level of service they’ve grown to expect from Vessel.”⠀
Read the full story through the link in bio....
Mother nature gifted us with some fresh snow over the weekend! ❄️ More snow in the forecast later this week means it's time to strap into those snowboard boots. ⠀
📸 Photos courtesy of: @snowbasinresort⠀
Check the link in bio for @snowbasinresort lift tickets, upcoming events and more! ⠀
Just hours after being sworn in, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for a review of the boundaries for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. The monuments—designated by Barack Obama in 2016 and Bill Clinton in 1996—were reduced by roughly 2 million acres by former president Donald Trump, and the executive order is seen as move towards restoring the original boundaries.
Read the full story through the link in bio.
📸Bears Ears National Monument: Courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism...