Congressman Tim Ryan Joins Colleagues in Urging Biden Administration to Support Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment
Washington, DC — Congressman Tim Ryan joined a bipartisan letter calling on President Biden to help replenish the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), which has provided economic assistance of $28.6 billion to over 101,000 restaurants across the country. Despite the success of the RRF, an additional 177,000 restaurant businesses applied for over $44 billion in assistance that was not provided.
“With the continued surge of the Delta COVID-19 variant, restaurants across the country still have not been able to fully recover, said Congressman Ryan. “I’m calling on the President to work with us to replenish funds for this important lifeline for our local restaurants to ensure these small businesses can survive and keep their workers employed.”
In the letter to President Biden, the lawmakers wrote, “Despite the program’s success for many, more than 177,000 food and beverage establishments applied for nearly $44 billion in funding but received nothing. This disparity has resulted in small businesses next door to each other with drastically different financial situations solely because of the federal government’s inability to fully fund the RRF.”
The letter to President Biden is below and here:
Dear President Biden,
We write to respectfully urge you to support and advocate for the swift replenishment of the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) in any moving legislative vehicle Congress considers this year.
Nearly $28.6 billion of economic relief was provided to more than 101,000 restaurants in every community across the country in the American Rescue Plan Act (Pub. L. 117-2). Critically, the Small Business Administration (SBA) prioritized small and medium-sized businesses, with more than half of the RRF grants totaling fewer than $150,000. These grants kept businesses open, people employed, and families stable.
Despite the program’s success for many, more than 177,000 food and beverage establishments applied for nearly $44 billion in funding but received nothing. This disparity has resulted in small businesses next door to each other with drastically different financial situations solely because of the federal government’s inability to fully fund the RRF.
These entities are the beating heart of every community, but the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put the survival of these small businesses on the line every day. In August, employment in food and beverage establishments fell by 41,500. In September, employment was stagnant. Restaurant and bar employment is still down 930,500 jobs since the start of the pandemic and more than 90,000 restaurants and bars have closed. These months were the first downturn for the industry in eight months and will only get worse as the weather gets colder and outdoor dining becomes impossible in much of the country. Restaurants are still down nearly one million jobs or about 8% below pre-pandemic levels, which is double national employment levels, and roughly one-third of the country is under some form of a dining restriction. Simply put, thousands of restaurants and bars will not survive the winter unless we replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Legislation in the House of Representatives (H.R. 3807) to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund with $60 billion has attracted the cosponsorship of more than half the House. Companion legislation in the Senate (S. 2675) is also widely supported.
We have the opportunity to ensure these small businesses get the relief they need by replenishing this program to meet the current need. We need your support and leadership to finish the job in any moving legislative vehicle. We look forward to partnering with you on this important issue.