WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and her colleagues, led by Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), are urging Congressional leaders to immediately pass the bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act, legislation that establishes the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide local Wisconsin restaurateurs with funding to rehire workers and deal with the long-term ramifications of COVID-19.
“For the second time this year, restaurants and bars are having to limit operations or close their doors completely, raising concerns about their ability to survive the long winter ahead. They need quick relief to keep their workers employed and hold onto their businesses. Congress needs to act speedily and pass the RESTAURANTS Act to help save local restaurants across the country and the millions of workers they employ,” wrote the lawmakers.
The lawmakers’ letter comes as coronavirus cases are spiking in Wisconsin and across the country. The Independent Restaurant Coalition supports this letter, which is available HERE.
Across the country, restaurants have been uniquely devastated by COVID-19. In April alone, 5.5 million restaurant workers lost their jobs. Without federal relief, another 11 million restaurant workers stand to lose their jobs permanently.
The bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act creates the Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant program, authorizing $120 billion to provide structured relief to restaurants. Under the bill, the Department of the Treasury will administer the RRF program and source the $120B from its CARES Act allotment. Awards will be one-time grants valued to cover the difference between revenues from 2019 and projected revenues through 2020, with a maximum grant of $10 million. Restaurants do not need to pay back their grants and can use the funding for payroll, benefits, mortgages, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies, protective equipment, cleaning materials, food, and any other expenses deemed essential by the Treasury.
An online version of this release is available here.