Restaurant industry may see financial relief thanks to recently proposed $25 billion recovery fund

click to enlarge PEXELS / TIM MOSSHOLDER
Pexels / Tim Mossholder
Well, it’s about time.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week filed a joint budget resolution that includes “urgently needed” funding for COVID-19 relief for restaurants, Nation’s Restaurant News reports.

“The announcement from Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi of a $25 billion restaurant recovery fund has the potential to be a game-changer for tens of thousands of restaurants on the verge of closing,” National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy said in a tweet celebrating the filing.

“[Last year] ended with the industry slipping into a double-dip recession and losing nearly 400,000 jobs, highlighting the unique challenges restaurant owners and our employees are still facing.”

The proposed restaurant recovery fund is largely based on the original RESTAURANTS Act passed by the House in October, which eventually doled out $120 billion in relief for restaurants at the height of the pandemic.

Originally, grants were rewarded based on “the difference between the businesses' 2019 revenues and estimated 2020 revenues for each quarter.” The bill also gave priority to smaller operations, including female- and minority-owned businesses.

Lawmakers are likely to tweak some details in the 2021 version of the relief program, the news site reports.

In December, the National Restaurant Association shared survey data that it said showed the “economic free fall” had financially damaged more than 500,000 restaurants. According to the association, 17% of restaurants nationwide — more than 110,000 — closed during 2020, either permanently or for the long term.

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

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