- Effort to add $48 billion to Restaurant Revitalization Fund fails due to objection to pass the legislation by unanimous consent
- Bill, along with a separate one to replenish the program with $60 billion, goes before committee
- The SBA received more than 278,000 applications for the program, but was only able to fund about 101,000 of them
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
A bipartisan effort to boost funding for the expired Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant program has faltered after an objection to pass the legislation by unanimous consent.
A group of 10 senators sought to add $48 billion to the RRF, which was unable to support the majority of its applicants due to a lack of funding. The $28.6 billion program, established as part of the American Rescue Plan, provided grants of up to $5 million per location and $10 million per applicant to support restaurants and other food and beverage businesses that suffered major revenue losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Small Business Administration received more than 278,000 applications, but was only able to fund about 101,000 businesses.
- The proposed legislation has been submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship after the unanimous consent effort failed
- The Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021, which has been introduced in both the House and Senate, is also in committee; this separate legislation seeks to add $60 billion to the RRF
- Ben Cardin, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, says food and beverage businesses are still struggling despite the ongoing economic recovery as they cope with debt accrual and other challenges
- Food and beverage businesses have been leading the jobs recovery in recent months, but the National Restaurant Association says about 110,000 establishments have closed temporarily or permanently; the industry was down about 2.5 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2020