NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer appeared at a Manhattan seafood restaurant on Sunday to urge restaurateurs to apply for the upcoming $28.6 billion federal restaurant relief program.

“Our purpose here is to tell the restaurants of New York, ‘Get ready, help is on the way,’” Schumer said at Crave Fishbar in Midtown.

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The restaurant relief program, part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed into law last month, will let restaurant owners apply for grants to cover coronavirus-related losses from last year and this year. The maximum grant for an individual restaurant is $5 million.

Schumer said the website for applying will be up within a few weeks.

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“Hopefully, at some point in June, money will be in our restaurateurs’ hands so they can stay alive and stay open until God willing COVID is over and the streets are full and the restaurants are full once again,” he said.

Crave owner Brian Owens said the money “will help us get through not only this year but next year, because we do believe that this is going to be a long recovery.”

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CBSNewYork Team