A restaurant owned by a Denton County veteran is open again after closing its doors when the grant promised by the federal government was not paid.
After serving his country for 12 years, U.S. Army veteran David Jordan is thrilled to serve Denton again.
“Talking to some of my regular customers was like a dream come true,” Jordan said.
His Patriot Sandwich Company restaurant reopened on Saturday after closing in a nightmarish situation.
Jordan said he made sure to apply for the Small Business Administration‘s restaurant revitalization grant as soon as it was announced, struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was thrilled to learn he had been approved for $86,000.
The grant was approved and then denied, however, according to Jordan.
The SBA was no longer able to help countless entrepreneurs after other applicants filed lawsuits, alleging reverse discrimination.
The administration instructed the SBA to open the program to all entrepreneurs, but give initial funding preference to veterans, women and minorities.
“The agency has been sued as a result,” said Herbert Austin, district manager for the SBA’s Dallas-Fort Worth District Office.
An SBA spokesperson said the Justice Department has not made a decision on whether to appeal the lawsuit.
The loss of funding left Jordan, already in the red, with no choice but to close his shop in November.
“Seven years ago I was a homeless veteran, I almost killed myself and when I lost my shop, I saw myself going back there,” he said.
Herbert said traditional loans are still available to eligible applicants.
The SBA secured $42 billion in its “loan guarantee program” in the last fiscal year, according to Austin.
Veterans may be eligible for certain program fees to be waived, up to a certain amount.
“All of this guaranteed for loans that the bank will never overdo,” Austin said.
The agency also emphasizes its Business Outreach Centers for Veterans for budding entrepreneurs, located at UT Arlington locally.
In the case of Jordan, this financial assistance was not necessary.
A woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted Jordan after reading an article in the Dallas Morning News, he said.
She paid $46,000 for him to reopen her shop.
“I cried,” he said. “Just blew my mind, the generosity of people. It restored my faith in humanity and it gives me the chance to give back to my community.
This grateful soldier urges the support of small business owners.
“We have to watch out for each other,” Jordan said. “Go out once a week and just support another local veteran-owned business.”