Ruppersberger, Local Restaurant Owners Promote Aid Provided by COVID-19 Relief Bill
(Timonium, MD) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) today touted the impact of emergency aid opportunities for Maryland restaurants included in federal COVID-19 relief legislation signed into law earlier this month. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides nearly $29 billion in tax-free grants worth up to $5 million per restaurant, or up to $10 million for multi-location restaurants.
“There are so many restaurants that are just hanging on by a thread. These are places that provide first jobs to many teens and lifelong careers to others. They are community gathering spots. They sponsor our kids’ rec leagues and host our weddings, our funerals, our family birthday celebrations,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “And this historic legislation will be an invaluable lifeline. These grants will help ensure our favorite restaurants will be able to support jobs and serve our communities for years to come.
While no industry has been spared by the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants have been hit particularly hard. Over the last year, food service sales have fallen $255 billion and 110,000 restaurants have closed, according to the National Restaurant Association.
The ARP establishes a new Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) operated by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which will use pandemic-related revenue losses to determine grant amounts. Funds from the grants can be spent on a range of expenses including mortgages or rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage inventory, payroll, and operational expenses. In addition to restaurants, food stands, trucks, bars and breweries can also apply.
The SBA will set aside $5 billion for smaller businesses whose gross revenue in 2019 did not exceed $500,000. It will prioritize grants for businesses owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs during the first three weeks of the application period.
Restaurants can also “double dip” into other relief tools, including the Paycheck Protection Program and economic injury disaster loans, although previous aid will count against the amount of the new grant.