Kildee Advocates for More Economic Relief for Mid-Michigan Restaurants
FLINT—Congressman Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today sent a bipartisan letter advocating for additional economic relief to help Michigan restaurants.
The American Rescue Plan created the Restaurants Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide economic relief to restaurants, bars, food trucks and catering companies during the pandemic. Since the RRF opened for applications on May 3, it has received over 360,000 applications requesting $75 billion in funds, which far exceeded the $28.6 billion allocated to the program.
Congressman Kildee previously supported the RESTAURANTS Act, which would provide $120 billion in additional economic relief through the RRF for Michigan restaurants to help keep them open during the pandemic by providing money for payroll costs, rent payments, maintenance, supplies, food and beverage and a number of additional uses.
“We urge you to work together with House Small Business Committee leadership and the SBA to bring a bill to the floor that would allocate funds so every eligible applicant can receive assistance. Our economy is still emerging from the immense damage of the COVID-19 crisis and our hardest hit small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and food trucks, are still navigating the impacts of over a year of lockdown orders and limits to capacity among other health requirements,” the letter reads, in part.
Below is the full text of the bipartisan letter:
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:
We write to respectfully urge you to quickly replenish the Restaurants Revitalization Fund (RRF) program to appropriate funding levels to meet current demand.
On May 26th Administrator Isabel Guzman of the Small Business Administration (SBA) appeared in a full House Small Business Committee hearing. She testified that as of May 24th, the date the RRF program application portal closed, the RRF had received more than 362,000 applications – with a total of $75 billion in funding requested. As of May 18th, the SBA reported that so far nearly 38,000 applicants have been approved for more than $6 billion.
We commend the prior work of the House to make the RRF program a reality with an allocation of $28.6 billion. However, this program is in extremely high-demand and at current funding levels the SBA will not be able to assist a large portion of the applicants.
We urge you to work together with House Small Business Committee leadership and the SBA to bring a bill to the floor that would allocate funds so every eligible applicant can receive assistance. Our economy is still emerging from the immense damage of the COVID-19 crisis and our hardest hit small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and food trucks, are still navigating the impacts of over a year of lockdown orders and limits to capacity among other health requirements.
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. The impact on these businesses causes a ripple effect impacting supply chains, local farmers, and employees. Since the pandemic upended American life, thousands of local restaurants, taprooms, and caterers have been forced to close their doors. Many of these businesses still face an uncertain future.
We have the opportunity to ensure these small businesses get the relief they need by replenishing this program to meet the current need. We urge you to support our local economies by investing in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. We must act now.
Thank you for your consideration of our request. We look forward to partnering with you on this important issue.