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Bill would give struggling bar, restaurant owners money to stay afloat during pandemic

PITTSBURGH — It’s being called a potential lifeline for bar and restaurant owners and the tourism industry.

Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced legislation that would help such business owners with lost profits put cash back in their pockets.

Two Pennsylvania lawmakers want to give $500 million to struggling bars, restaurants and businesses in the hospitality industry.

That money would make a huge difference for Pete Henderson.

He owns and operates Chace’s at Gabriella’s along East Carson Street in the Southside. The pandemic has drastically impacted his business.

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Sen. Pat Stefano and Sen. Scott Martin just introduced a bill that would offer immediate financial support.

The money would come from Pennsylvania’s share of funding from the CARES Act.

With ever changing restrictions and limits on seating, running a restaurant during the pandemic has been an uphill climb.

“You can only do what you can. You come in and you’re blessed if you have eight customers. If you have nine, anything to keep the gas and the light bill on. You can’t worry what yesterday was like,” Henderson said.

Restaurant and food jobs make up 10% of employment in Pennsylvania.