Local restaurants are some of the hardest hit businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic – but help is on the way for some. The state will soon be serving up just what they ordered.

Julie’s Café in Green Bay has been a local gathering spot for nearly a quarter of a century.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride for everybody, not just us,” said Troy Metzler, Julie’s Café owner.

But that was before the pandemic hit.

“Being closed down for two months-ish we had to pivot and do take out and delivery” Metzler explained.

Local restaurants, like Julie’s, who’ve been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are the target of Governor Tony Evers $45 million dollar program.

“We announced an additional $45 million for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation ‘We’re All In’ grant program,'” Evers announced Thursday.

Under the program, eligible businesses will receive a $20,000 grant by year-end.

“That would definitely help,” said Tom Bacon, owner-operator of T-Bacon’s BBQ in Ashwaubenon. “Right now we’re at the brink, where I’m starting to cut hours and do more of the work myself.”

Locally owned restaurants like Julie’s Cafe and TBacon’s BBQ can really be the heartbeat of a community, a gathering place that really keeps things alive. Restaurant owners we talked to say this economic boost will really go a long way to satisfy what they’ve been craving.

“I don’t want my employees to be hurting, so that would definitely help keep us afloat,” said Bacon.

And helping our local restaurants ultimately, helps us all.

“When you go to a local business, that stays directly in the community,” said Metzler.

Latest Stories