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Monday, December 20, 2021

Downtown Orlando bars sue federal government over SBA grant disbursement

Posted By on Mon, Dec 20, 2021 at 1:34 PM

click to enlarge Stagger Inn. - PHOTO VIA GOOGLE MAPS
  • Photo via Google Maps
  • Stagger Inn.

Several downtown Orlando bars are involved in a federal lawsuit against the Small Business Administration and its administrators. The Stagger Inn, Harry Buffalo and Other Bar joined in a complaint filed on behalf of a host of bars across Florida and Ohio, arguing that they never received Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants from the organization.

At the heart of the complaint is the idea that minority-owned and women-led businesses received preferential treatment in the disbursement of these grants. The fund was initially instructed to prioritize applications from these groups, something that was ultimately declared invalid in an individual case heard by the 6th Circuit Court.



The Orlando bars all say they filed their claims within minutes of the application portal opening. However, they say their applications were not approved before the $28.6 billion in allocated funds was exhausted. The complaint lays the blame on the SBA's internal decision to prioritize minority and women-led businesses, a practice that has since been found invalid in a narrowly tailored ruling.


The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages from the SBA and its administrators as well as a declaration that further funding will not be subject to the same prioritizations.



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