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After A Catastrophic Start, The $30,000 Restaurant Aid Program Relaunches On Monday

File: King Taco taped off its outdoor dining area to discourage costumers from lingering as they shifted to take out only. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Saturday, Dec. 5, 9:45 a.m. -- This story has been updated with information about when the new site will launch.

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An aerial view of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico after one of the main cables holding the receiver broke on December 1, 2020. (Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images)

Much like the Arecibo Observatory, the original Keep L.A. Dining website suffered a catastrophic failure this week. While the research facility in Puerto Rico had been operating for nearly 60 years before a 900-ton equipment platform collapsed, the restaurant relief website crashed barely an hour after launching.

The program, overseen by the Los Angeles County Development Authority, gives $30,000 to brick-and-mortar restaurants that meet certain criteria -- but the funds are limited. The number of applications is capped at 2,500.

When the website began accepting applications, at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, restaurant owners -- approximately 6,000 of them -- tried to log in but, "The portal was overwhelmed due to the surge of thousands of applicants," says a LACDA spokesperson.

Only two users were able to submit full applications, according to LACDA.

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Matt Glassman, who owns several restaurants, including The Greyhound Bar & Grill in Glendale, described the process as "absolutely soul-crushing."

As of Friday at 5 p.m., the COVID-19 relief site was still down. But it will relaunch!

The Keep LA Dining website will relaunch after crashing. (screengrab from LACDA website)

On Saturday morning, LACDA announced it will launch a new application platform on Monday, December 7 at 8 a.m. The new portal will accept applications until Tuesday, December 8 at 5 p.m. or until 2,500 applications are received, whichever comes first.

Per a LACDA press release...

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  • User accounts created in the previous system are no longer valid.
  • Users who submitted a completed application do not need to re-register.
  • Applicants who registered but couldn't complete the process should've received an email from LACDA explaining how to proceed.
  • All other applicants must re-register through the program's new application portal.

Given how much restaurants are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, it's a safe bet the new site will also be flooded with applicants. But hopefully it will be able to handle them all.