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LA County's Restaurant Relief Website Crashed Because It Was Flooded With Applicants

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, overwhelming demand has crashed the Los Angeles County website where struggling restaurant owners can apply for $30,000 grants to help them stay afloat during the pandemic.

The portal for Keep L.A. County Dining began accepting applications at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Early this morning, LAist began hearing anecdotal reports that restaurant owners had been unable to get through and/or finish their applications.

Matt Glassman, who owns ETA in Highand Park and The Greyhound Bar & Grill, which has a location in Highand Park and another in Glendale, says he has been trying to log into the website since it went live at midnight — with little success.

He says at around 3:45 a.m., he was finally able to register for the website although he still couldn't for a username or for a grant. As of Thursday afternoon, Glassman says, "I am still working on it."

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He described the process as "absolutely soul-crushing."

On Instagram, Patti Rockenwagner of Rockenwagner cafe and bakery, posted a video of a computer screen with the swirling icon of death on LACDA's application portal and noted: "This is what I (and countless other restaurant owners) have been looking at since midnight — buffering, session timing out and website crashing."

Around noon today, the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA), which is administering the program, tweeted:

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Anyone with questions can call LACDA at 626-943-3833.

The Keep L.A. County Dining program, which had several requirements and restrictions, is only taking applications until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6 at — or whenever 2,500 applications are submitted, whichever happens first. That's why applying early is imperative. But it only works if you can get through.

"While I politely golf-clap the county's efforts, trying to get this done to potentially save my business (and the jobs of 20 people) with a system that is an absolute horror show is a bit disheartening," Glassman tells LAist via email.

"I tell you this realizing that while my story may not be close to unique, it's almost certainly archetypal," Glassman said. "We’re a desperate and frightened business doing everything we can to get this grant (which is not a game changer but certainly buys us time) and just being let down every which way."

Fourteen hours after the application portal went live, Glassman says he still can't log in to his account.

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