- Facebook / Councilman Roberto C. Treviño
- Roberto Treviño speaks during a pre-pandemic public appearance.
The councilman, along with local bar and restaurant owners, has been stumping for more targeted relief for local bars and restaurants since October of last year. On Friday, San Antonio City Council finally passed $14 million in support for the food and beverage industry.
The plan calls for redirecting $9.8 million from the child care portion of workforce development funding and $4.2 million earmarked for job training.
“Thankfully, we’d done a good deal of the work in advance, anticipating that this would need to happen, so we’d already worked with our Economic Development team and small business owners to determine what was really needed,” Councilman Treviño told the Current. “We’re just grateful that out of the $14 million, nearly $10 million of that is going to this industry.”
The reallocation will provide grants to businesses to help them retain staff and stay current on payroll, as well as provide living expenses to foodservice industry employees to keep them housed during the pandemic.
“This is the industry that got hit very, very hard … [this plan] can help stabilize a lot of the folks that have been hit the hardest,” Treviño said. “The loss of hours and wages translates into their housing and stability, their inability to pay the light bill. I felt it was very important that we reexamine the amount of funding we were setting aside for this industry.”
The plan was approved Friday, as a historically devastating winter storm wound down, adding insult to COVID-era injury.
Treviño lamented that no one was anticipating the severity of last week’s winter storm, which — so far — has resulted in the deaths of more than 50 Texans.
But, he says, there is a silver lining.
“It’s just amazing how the food and beverage industry stepped up,” Treviño said. “Those are the stories that further illustrate the importance of the industry. How much worse would it have been for the families that were fed, without the folks that helped, even at a time when they are suffering themselves?”
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