RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — The American Rescue Plan is paying off for Maryland small business owners who received millions from the federal program.

After a rough year, business has started to turn for the better for Myrie’s Island Kitchen owner Christine Mattis-Myrie.

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“We’re going very well, we’re doing very well,” said Mattis-Myrie.

The Randallstown restauranteur has been open here on Liberty Road for three years but barely made it through 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic caused business to severely slow down. Fortunately, she got help just in time from the federal American Rescue’s Plan’s restaurant revitalization fund.

“We were saved by the bell. The grant kept us open,” Mattis-Myrie added.

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Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger sat down for a meal at the restaurant today to highlight the impact of the program. He said it provided over $560 million to restaurants in Maryland — which for some was incredibly important to help them keep their doors open.

“I do think it’s now safe to say that the ARP (American Rescue Plan) was a literal lifeline for hundreds of small businesses right here in our state of Maryland,” said Ruppersberger.

The American Rescue Plan also helped out struggling arts venues in Maryland like the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park — which missed out on thousands of dollars in revenue because it couldn’t rent out space to artists or host indoor shows during the pandemic.

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“It was critical to have that revenue come in that format that we could some make up some of that lost revenue,” said Donna Anderson.

Stetson Miller