Among the several businesses that have been impacted across the Washington, D.C. region due to the novel coronavirus, Ben’s Chili Bowl has been hit especially hard. After recently expressing woes in remaining open during the pandemic, the iconic eatery will receive part of a COVID-19 relief loan to stay afloat.
Founded in the summer of 1958 by Ben and Virginia Ali, the restaurant has become a Washington institution, expanding from its flagship operation on the famed U Street Corridor two other locations in the DMV area. The restaurant has survived several financial and social shifts since its inception, but nothing could have prepared the Ali family for way COVID-19 has brought the region’s businesses to their knees.
As reported by WTOP, the federal Paycheck Protection Program from the Small Business Administration. was designed to patch holes in loss of revenue for a variety of businesses, and Ben’s Chili Bowl has obtained the loan to help shore up some of the deficits.
According to family member Sage Ali, the second round of PPPs to go out will include them after they missed the first round due to not filing the application in the required time.
Ali told the outlet that the PPP should be enough to take care of around two months of payroll for the four restaurants under the company banner, which includes the U Street locale and its sister spot Ben’s Next Door, a location along the H Street Corridor, and a location in Northern Virginia. As of now, only the first location is open for takeout and delivery.