Cake company Florissant said it had to pay back $ 50,000 in CARES law relief money
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FLORISSANT, Missouri – A small, local wedding cake company recently received $ 50,000 in funding from the state’s CARES Act, which had that money taken away.
For 35 years, Wedding Wonderland in Florissant has been creating beautiful wedding cakes. Michael Temm was part of it all; he has owned the business for 25 years.
Temm said they have had their ups and downs over the years. In 2014, they were the winners of The Next Great Baker show, which brought a lot of business to the store.
The bakery prepares an average of about 40 to 50 wedding cakes per week. But since the pandemic hit, those numbers have changed dramatically. This week, they only ordered 13 wedding cupcakes.
Like many other small business owners, Temm began to apply for grants. In September, he learned that Wedding Wonderland had received a $ 50,000 state grant.
It was a huge sigh of relief for Temm.
“Receiving this letter changed my world. It changed my way of thinking, ”he said. “We were hoping we could do it. “
Temm changed his business plan. They were starting to make smaller cakes, cupcakes and cake pops. In order to fulfill the grant, he had to provide receipts for what he was to purchase. He bought coolers for all the little things they would serve now.
But on Monday, Michael received a letter that took his breath away.
The letter from the state said: “The subsidy is canceled”.
He said: “Your business does not fall under the first round industry classifications, which focus on rewards for retailers, accommodation, food or healthcare.”
Temm said he didn’t understand why his business wasn’t eligible. He stated that Wedding Wonderland is classified as a restaurant, which falls under the category of food service.
FOX 2 asked the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) why the grant was canceled and how often it happens.
They replied, “Upon reviewing the supporting documents submitted to the ministry by more than 3,000 applicants to the CARES Act program, the ministry found that 98 applicants had received letters of approval when they were not eligible for the first one. round of the small business grant.
“In fairness to everyone who applied, we had to inform these business owners that they were not eligible for funding. No funds were distributed to ineligible companies, but we recognize that this mistake made an already difficult situation worse. We sincerely apologize for our mistake.
“We are in the process of responding to candidate comments and will be reviewing this company’s application. “
Right now, Temm doesn’t know where he is going from here or what options he has left.
FOX 2 again asked DED why Wedding Wonderland was not eligible for the grant in the foodservice category. A spokesperson said they would review Temm’s request and be in contact with him to follow up.
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