A group of bipartisan lawmakers have introduced new legislation to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund with an additional $60 billion. The act, lead by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), US. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), would not only cover all existing applications to the highly popular pandemic relief program but also allow the Small Business Administration to continue its outreach to hard-to-reach businesses and communities.
“While it appears that our work to prioritize restaurants most in need was successful in the first round, the extraordinary demand for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund shows that many more businesses still desperately need help,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “We must work quickly to replenish this critical relief program and ensure all local restaurants get the support needed to keep their doors open, pay their staff, and support the industry’s trillion-dollar supply chain that impacts every sector of our economy.”
Within three weeks of the program’s opening, SBA received more than 362,000 applications requesting more than $75 billion in funding—nearly triple the available funding—leaving nearly $50 billion in outstanding need.
“The Restaurant Revitalization Fund provided a lifeline for America’s small and independent restaurants,” Wicker said in a statement. “Our restaurants are now beginning to recover from a year of lost revenue, but many establishments are still hurting and have not been able to access aid for which they are eligible. Replenishing this fund would help restaurants, their staff, and the broader food supply chain as they continue to get back on their feet.”