Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY) stood alongside local restaurant owners to call for the replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The program was created by Congress to provide financial support to restaurants struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RRF was initially granted $28.66 billion in funding through the American Rescue Plan, which was enacted in March 2021. The was quickly exhausted, leaving many small businesses without a financial lifeline. Morelle has called for an additional $60 billion to be added to the fund.
“The restaurant industry has been devastated by the pandemic, and there is a critical need for additional relief,” Morelle said. “Small businesses like restaurants are cornerstones of our local economy, and they need our help. I’m calling for immediate action to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and I will continue advocating for solutions to help restaurants get through these challenging times.”
The estimated income loss to restaurants in 2020 exceeded 75% of income in 2020. It is important for Congress to consider again funding the RRF,” said Chuck Cerankosky, co-owner of Rochester, NY's Restaurant Good Luck. "Being one of the business sectors that faced the dangers of COVID head-on, as well as having to have made immense sacrifices in revenue as a service to public health, restaurants deserve relief to replace the business they've lost. The pandemic affected all restaurants; the RRF needs the funding it is due, as well as fair distribution of funds, and transparency as to who gets funded and if not, why."
Since the passage of the American Rescue Plan, Morelle has supported a variety of additional efforts to provide relief to small businesses and local restaurants, including H.R. 793, the Restaurants Act and H.R. 3807 and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act, which would add an additional $60 billion in RRF funding.