BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Thousands of businesses across the US were never paid any relief funding during the pandemic and now many, even here locally, are struggling to make ends meet.

There is a bipartisan push for Congress to approve $60 billion more in funds for the many small businesses, like restaurants, who need help.

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“We’re going to make it through, we just need help,” said Ron Furman, owner of Max’s Tap House.

Faidley’s Seafood in Baltimore’s Lexington Market has been around for more than 130 years. Though business came to a screeching halt, they never stopped paying their employees.

Owner Dayme Hahn said her father called her when the pandemic hit and said: ”Make sure that you make payroll, Dayme. Do everything to make payroll.”

With sacrifices and hard work, they made it to this point – but she needs help. Hahn is pleading with Congress, “Please replenish the fund. Help us stay alive through another generation.”

Since 1886 the restaurant has employed people like Lou Fleming. The Baltimore native has worked at Faidley’s for 44 years.

“Absolutely we need help, we are barely hanging on,” he said.

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Supply costs are up, Fleming said.

“They went up 300 percent in the last 4 months,” he said.

Restaurant owners are looking for a light at the end of this dark COVID tunnel.

In Maryland, about 100 restaurants were awarded $1 million from the Restaurant Relief Fund, but thousands of small businesses didn’t see a single cent.

Restaurants like Max’s, Faidley’s and others are asking Congress to approve the request for an additional $60 billion.

“They’re the ones who keep America going not the franchises, hardworking people in small businesses like this,” Fleming said.

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Rachael Cardin