SENATOR Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) visited a Filipino American-owned restaurant on Wednesday, April 7 to discuss how the American Rescue Plan and other relief measures are supporting Las Vegas’ small business community.
The senator met with Truffles N Bacon Cafe owner Magnolia Magat and staff about the impact that COVID-19 has had on the business.
“During the start, it was very scary. We didn’t know what we were going to do,” Magat, an immigrant from the Philippines, told Rosen.
The café, which is in Regal Plaza along Eastern Ave, has been in operation for seven years and has garnered a following for its American comfort food and brunch fare, with some dishes having Filipino influences. During the first few months of the pandemic when indoor dining was temporarily shuttered, the café had to rely on delivery and take-out to survive.
Magat secured a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Navy Federal Credit Union, which was used to support employees and retrofit the interior to be indoor dining friendly amid COVID measures.
“Without the PPP loan, we would have tanked,” she said.
Rosen said 99% of businesses in the state are considered small businesses. Of the 280,000 small businesses, 20,000 of them are owned by Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
“This is the story of Nevada and this is why I fought to be sure that the PPP loans went to [the] small business community, went to minority communities, went to our veterans, went to our women,” Rosen said. “It’s important that the fabric of our neighborhoods didn’t go away because there was a pandemic.”
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, includes direct aid to restaurants and an additional $7.25 billion for the PPP.
Small businesses in the Silver State have received a total of 77,941 PPP loans, amounting to more than $6 billion, since April 2020. The senator’s office was able to directly assist 1,071 small businesses, it said.
Rosen also co-sponsored the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which would extend the application window for PPP loans to small businesses through May 31 of this year.
Restaurants in Nevada are now operating at 50% indoor capacity, which has been a relief for owners like Magat.
“Regarding resiliency, I think it’s about toughing it out, and we as Filipinos, we’re used to that hard work and it really pays off, but you still have to focus on what your true sense is,” Magat told the Asian Journal.