April 11, 2022
Main Street Monday – House Passes Bill that Replenishes Restaurant Revitalization Fund with $42 Billion
“The pandemic inflicted deep wounds on small firms across the country, and many of these businesses are still struggling today. My office hears from small businesses every day, and they have made it abundantly clear that they need more relief,” says House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “This bill will deliver long-awaited aid to hundreds of thousands of restaurants and other small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. The sooner this bill is signed into law, the sooner these businesses can begin to move forward and advance our recovery.”
Last week, the House passed the Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Business Act of 2022, a bipartisan bill that will provide $55 billion in relief to establish new programs and replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
There was an overwhelming demand for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and 177,000 restaurants that applied for grants did not receive funding after the program was depleted. This bill would replenish the RRF with $42 billion to support the restaurants that were not able to receive a grant.
Other goals of the Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Business Act of 2022 are:
•Utilize $13 billion to create a new program, the Hard Hit Industries Award Program. Small businesses with 200 or fewer employees and a 40% or more reduction in revenue can access this program.
•Update the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant to provide venues with more time and flexibility to use their federal relief funds.
•Direct $30 million to the SBA Inspector General, the DOJ’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to support investigations into fraud and recover fraudulent funds.
The program would be offset using the funds recovered from pandemic relief program fraud cases.