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Bipartisan Proposal Seeks $60 Billion Funding Boost for Restaurant Revitalization Fund

  • Bipartisan proposal introduced in Congress aims to increase funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to meet demand
  • Bill would add $60 billion to go toward grants to businesses in the food and beverage industry
  • Demand on the program far exceeded available funding, with 362,000 applicants seeking $75 billion

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

A bipartisan proposal recently submitted to Congress would replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund with more than twice its initial allocation, following heavy demand on the grant program by businesses in the food service industry.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, along with Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Roger Wicker or Mississippi, have submitted a bill to add $60 billion to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund’s initial allocation of $28.6 billion. This program provided grants to businesses in the food and beverage industry of up to $10 million per applicant, limited to $5 million per location.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the food service industry, with the National Restaurant Association estimating that it suffered $290 billion in losses and that approximately 90,000 restaurants have closed permanently or the long-term
  • The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration, received 362,000 applications requesting nearly $75 billion
  • The program included a 21-day priority period for businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially or economically disadvantaged individuals; funding requests by these business owners alone exceeded the program’s funding
  • Food and beverage businesses have been creating the bulk of new jobs during the economic recovery from COVID-19, but the sector remains about 1.5 million jobs short of pre-pandemic levels, a drop of 12 percent

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