April 07, 2022

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Votes to Provide Critical Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C.?– Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke on the House floor and voted to pass the Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022.

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Democrats passed May 2020, Congress provided $28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). This program provided desperately needed relief to more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation.

However, as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, recovery for small businesses including many in California’s 13th district is ongoing.

“Restaurants and small businesses are the backbone of our communities, especially here in the East Bay. The initial Restaurant Revitalization Fund passed in May 2020 provided critical relief that kept many places afloat— in my district alone, more than $212 million went to almost 600 restaurants and bars, helping them to keep their doors open through this crisis and support their employees and families. But three years into the pandemic, many are still struggling to get by. I’m proud to have supported today’s bill to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and look forward to seeing this vital relief delivered equitably, efficiently, and swiftly.”

The Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022 provides $42 billion to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, allowing the Small Business Administration (SBA) to process the outstanding applications of over 150,000 restaurants and award grants.

This legislation also provides $13 billion for a new Hard Hit Industries Award Program, which will provide awards to small businesses across all industries and sectors that were the hardest hit by the pandemic but were not eligible for RRF or the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program (SVOG).

Additionally, this legislation also extends the timeline for SVOG recipients to utilize their grant awards.

To view the Congresswoman’s remarks, click here. A full transcript can be found below.