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The City Journals

Midvale awards small business grants

Nov 17, 2020 12:18PM ● By Erin Dixon

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

In June, Midvale received $993,657 from the CARES Act from the federal government. The city decided to use some of the money for local small businesses that are struggling. 

“The goal of this program is to alleviate the financial burden small local retail businesses are facing due to COVID-19 and provide them short-term assistance,” Mayor Robert Hale said. “We hope this program will help our small businesses during this crisis.”

Grant money was awarded to over 20 Midvale businesses to use for advertising or protective and sanitation gear, both an extra struggle since the beginning of the pandemic.

Tokyo Teriyaki and Midvale Mining both received grant money but used it in different ways to best suit their needs. Tokyo Teriyaki has been open in Midvale for a year, while Midvale Mining has been open for 35 years. 

Chris Hase from Midvale Mining said they were “closed for three weeks and volume was down 83% when we were just doing takeout.”

The restaurant used the grant money to cover the mile-high prices for personal protection equipment they needed to open their doors again. 

“When there was such a shortage before supply caught up they were $50. Even my seafood company was selling masks. The same with gloves. They used to be $43 a case, now they are $100. They go through gloves like M&M’s peanuts when watching the basketball game,” Hase said.

Tokyo Teriyaki, originally located in Sugar House, opened their second restaurant in Midvale last November. After having to close both locations after the pandemic started, they were forced to permanently shut the Sugar House location.  

“We've really been struggling to stay afloat,” Connie Wang, owner of Tokyo Teriyaki said. 

Because the small business was only open for four months before the pandemic started, they struggled with building a local clientele.

“We spent it on branded merchandise, City Journal, coupon calendar, social media ads, signage and print flyer promotions,” Wang said.

They also received other grant money, such as “PPP, SLC ComRent grant, and Shop in Utah grant.” 

Will these grants add up to enough to save the business? The future is unclear, but it has kept the business afloat for the time being. 

“All of these grants have been a godsend to helping us stay open and keeping most of our employees working and paid,” Wang said.