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This New Bill Could Help Thousands of Restaurants

The James Beard Foundation endorses a bill to inject more funding into the Restaurant Revitilization Fund

Ashley Kosiak

June 10, 2021

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Outdoor seating at Lolo's Seafood Shack in Harlem photo by Clay Williams
Photo: Clay Williams

Applications for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) closed on May 29, and all reports indicate that far more support for the restaurant and hospitality industry is necessary for recovery. According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, nearly 400,000 businesses applied for over $76 billion in grant relief, greatly outpacing the amount of funds available. 

While COVID-19 restrictions across the country are lifting, independent restaurants are continuing to close and remain at risk of shuttering permanently. According to the latest jobs reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates in the industry remain high. And per the latest date from Open Table, reservations for seated indoor diners remained down by as much at 27 percent in June 2021 (while continuing to take into account indoor restrictions), and not all restaurants are able to accommodate expanded outdoor dining. 

The James Beard Foundation stands with independent restaurants across the country in support of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021, which would add an additional $60 billion in essential grant money to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (raising its total to $88.6 billion). This funding would cover all existing applications for the RRF, and would allow the Small Business Administration to continue outreach to hard-to-reach communities. The bill is expected to be introduced today, June 10, and it will be a crucial lifeline for thousands of independent restaurants still in need of support.

Use the IRC’s Congressional Outreach guide to contact your Member of Congress and ask them to support this important piece of legislation.

This post will be updated with more information about the RRF Replenishment Act once that becomes available.

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Ashley Kosiak is director of programs at the James Beard Foundation.