Stories / Impact

Here are the Facts on the RESTAURANTS Act

This bipartisan bill hopes to aid independent restaurants

Morgan Carter

July 29, 2020


Photo by Jeffrey Gurwin

For the past few months, we've been hosting webinars as part of our Industry Support learning series. Topics have covered all facets of the current crisis, from deciphering government relief options, to understanding the PRIME Act, to navigating the challenges in our food supply chain, and more. Last week we gathered with Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and restaurateurs from across the nation to discuss the proposed RESTAURANTS Act of 2020 and how it will assist the industry if passed. 

What is the RESTAURANTS Act? 

  • Introduced in the House by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and in the Senate by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), the Real Economic Support that Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed (RESTAURANTS) Act is a bipartisan bill is intended to provide financial support tailored to the unique needs of the restaurant industry. As proposed, the RESTAURANTS Act would provide $120 billion in grant programs to independent bars and restaurants.

How does this bill help independent restaurants and bars?

  • The bill is intended to benefit the needs of small restaurants, which means no large chains or publicly traded companies can receive funding. 
  • Restaurant Stabilization Grant values will cover the difference between revenues from 2019 and projected revenues through 2020.
  • Unlike the many restrictions of the PPP loan, the RESTAURANTS Act expands eligible expenses to include payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, benefits, maintenance, supplies (for protection and cleaning), food, debt obligations, and any other expense deemed necessary. 
  • Grants do not need to be paid back and funding is made available through 2020, unless the restaurant closes. 

Who supports this bill?

  • To date the bill has garnered support from 125 members of Congress in both chambers, representing over 30 states. Additionally, the bill has a number of supporters from the restaurant community, including the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) and members of the webinar’s panel: Sue Bette of Bluebird Hospitality Group in Vermont, Gregory Gourdet of Sage Restaurant Group in Oregon, Danielle Leoni of Breadfruit and Rum Bar in Arizona, and Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food & Wine in Colorado.

What can you do to get involved?

  • Learn more about the bill here
  • Email and call your local representatives. The IRC has drafted a template email that you can find here. 
  • For resources to share, head to IRC’s website for social media graphics, fact sheets, and more. 

Watch the full webinar for more information on the RESTAURANTS Act.

Check out what's on-deck for our webinar series and find past recordings here. 

Our team would like to know what topics you would like us to cover. Please email us at with your suggestions on speakers, resources, and issues you would like us to host.