San Antonio brewery wants foodies to demand Congress replenish COVID-era restaurant funds

Second Pitch owner Jim Hansen hopes that more “squeaky wheels” will reach out to legislators. - Instagram / secondpitchbeercompany
Instagram / secondpitchbeercompany
Second Pitch owner Jim Hansen hopes that more “squeaky wheels” will reach out to legislators.
The short-lived federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund could be described as, well, a shitshow.

What began as a hand up for the decimated foodservice industry quickly became a headache. Funds ran out a month after the's program launch, and many who were first told they'd receive funds later learned they wouldn't receive their promised relief.

To correct the situation, a bipartisan group of lawmakers last month introduced the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act. The proposal would create a $60 billion second round of funding that would cover businesses that were approved but never received compensation.

San Antonio's Second Pitch Beer Company — along with the Brewer’s Association and other craft breweries — is urging foodies and beer lovers to reach out to members of Congress to encourage them to vote for the bill.

Second Pitch owner Jim Hansen said more “squeaky wheels” are needed for the cause. So far, he's had little luck getting his elected representatives to show interest.

“[U.S. Rep.] Chip Roy, R-Austin and San Antonio, is our congressman, and we got a very polite ‘fuck you’ from him,” Hansen told the Current. “The vibe of his response was very much like, ‘Nope, don’t care.’ ... It was a very frustrating thing to experience, where a congressman doesn’t care about his constituents at all.”

Hansen also tried to get in touch with Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, R-Texas, but has yet to receive a response from either.

“There’s this bill that can potentially add this $60 billion, and apparently our representatives aren’t interested,” Hansen said. “It’s either a solid ‘no,’ or crickets.”

Second Pitch was approved for $300,00 through the first round of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. That would have allowed Hansen to give his staff raises and make upgrades to Second Pitch's San Antonio facilities, but the money ran out before he could receive the promised funds.

The Brewer’s Association is urging concerned folks to connect with legislators to show support for the replenishment bill via a form on its website.

The U.S. Small Business Administration, which operated the program, received more than 250,000 applications by early May, according to the Los Angeles Times. At that time, the need added up to about $65 billion — double the amount in the fund.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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