SALEM, MA — Last week, Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) announced that the Small Business Administration has awarded restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in Massachusetts Sixth District with a combined total of $94,917,272.35 worth of funding.
The funding has arrived to the region through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant — programs from the American Rescue Plan of 2021— which Moulton co-sponsored and voted for in March. The funds are designed to help businesses make up for lost revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” said Rep. Moulton. “During the height of the pandemic, they suffered a major blow, and most are still recovering. This funding will help speed up the recovery process by allowing businesses to hire more personnel and secure the resources they need to keep their staff and patrons safe. I’m looking forward to helping businesses in the Sixth district come back better and stronger.”
More than $71 million of the money came through the Restaurant Relief Fund, which grants businesses funding according to their pandemic-related losses up to $10 million per business, while $23 million of these funds are from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant provides theaters, museums, and performance businesses with up to 45% of their 2019 gross revenue to a maximum of $10 million. It also reserves $2 billion for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Funding from both programs can be used to pay for business expenses like payroll, rent, and utilities, as well as purchases of personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies.
Funds were deposited directly into the bank account of each respective business by the Small Business Administration.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021, established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which is operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, to provide targeted aid to restaurants and other related businesses that serve food or drink. This aid was a response to businesses across the country facing economic distress and significant operational losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill passed in the House and Senate without a single Republican vote.
Moulton supports additional legislation that would help businesses that could not secure funding in the initial rounds of grants.