WASHINGTON, DC — Last week, Congressman Seth Moulton voted for an additional $55 billion to help restaurants and small businesses in Massachusetts and across the country that are still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
The Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022—which passed in the House of Representatives and will now be sent to the Senate—would secure additional funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, established by Congressional Democrats and President Biden in the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. It would also create a new program to help small businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic and lost revenue, but were not eligible for other grants or awards.
“We’re finally putting this pandemic behind us, but restaurants and other small businesses are still reeling from the last two years,” said Congressman Moulton. “I was thrilled to secure $95 million for restaurants, bars, small businesses and entertainment venues in Massachusetts’ Sixth District last year, but this community still needs more help. Dining out and public events are back in full swing, but venues now have to contend with ongoing challenges like staffing, inflation, and supply chain shortages. I hope my colleagues in the Senate will move quickly to pass this funding so that businesses in the Sixth District, and all over, can come back stronger— and stay that way.”
The Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022 would also:
- Ensure that the more than 170,000 eligible restaurants that applied for Restaurant Revitalization Fund assistance, but could not access support due to oversubscription, will now have access to funding.
- Secure $13 billion to establish the Hard Hit Industries Award Program – an Small Business Administration initiative to assist small businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic and lost revenue but were not eligible for other grants or awards.
- Update the American Rescue Plan’s successful Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program by extending the timeframe that current award recipients are required to incur expenses and expend grant funds.
This legislation would be funded in part by transferring funds that are reclaimed, seized or returned to the Federal Government, primarily from bad actors attempting to defraud prior small business pandemic relief funds.
Read the full bill HERE.