House and Senate Take First Step in Passing the RESTAURANTS Act

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The Brewers Association joined the Independent Restaurant Coalition, the National Restaurant Association, and other beverage alcohol trades in sending a letter to the House and Senate leadership expressing their support for the RESTAURANTS Act (H.R. 793/S. 255) and urging Congress to pass the $25 billion restaurant grant program contained in the small business committees part of the budget reconciliation.

The House Small Business Committee held a mark-up yesterday on the budget including the aforementioned program. The language contains:

  • $25 billion for a new program at the SBA offering assistance to restaurants and other food and drinking establishments.
  • $5 billion of this amount is set aside for businesses with less than $500,000 in 2019 annual revenue.
  • Grants are available for up to $10 million per entity, with a limitation of $5 million per physical location. Entities are limited to 20 locations.
  • Grants are calculated by subtracting 2020 revenue from 2019 revenue. During the first 21 days, applications from restaurants and breweries owned, operated, or controlled by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will receive priority.
  • Grants may be used for a wide variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage expenses, paid sick leave, and operational expenses.

The committee voted in favor of the reconciliation proposal which included the $25 billion Restaurant (and bar and tasting room) Revitalization Fund language. More committees are still doing the mark up process on their titles, once that is completed the House is hoping to vote on a broader package at the end of this month.

The Brewers Association applauds this first step towards providing additional grants to breweries, brewpubs, restaurants, and bars that is critical towards helping hospitality businesses survive the pandemic. We look forward to working with the legislative champions in the House and Senate to pass the RESTAURANTS Act and provide the full $120 billion in funding to these hard-hit businesses. The Brewers Association encourages our members to ask their elected officials to co-sponsor the RESTAURANTS Act. The Brewers Association is happy to provide you with a draft letter and contact information for your elected officials.