Schumer Touts $28B Restaurant Relief Program

Schumer Touts $28B Restaurant Relief Program

Photo Courtesy of Sen. Schumer’s Office

“Getting federal dollars into the hands of struggling small businesses, like restaurants across New York City and Long Island, not only makes sense, but it’s the recipe needed to keep small businesses going and keeping their workers on the job,” Sen. Schumer said.

By Forum Staff

The $28.6 billion federal restaurant relief program is about to launch, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Sunday.

Schumer urged New York restaurants to be the first in line to apply and, along with the New York Hospitality Alliance, pushed to get the word out. Schumer also said he is pushing the Small Business Administration to dish these funds out ASAP. Schumer said that with New York City and Long Island poised to see a sizable share of the $28.6 billion dollar federal pot, local restaurants we know and love can stay open for business and opportunities for workers to return to old or new restaurant jobs can emerge. Schumer also said the countless jobs New York restaurants still provide will be less uncertain now that this direct relief is on the way. He also explained how our local restaurants can apply.

More details on the new restaurant relief fund:

  • Grant Maximum: $10 million per restaurant group, $5 million per individual restaurant
  • Eligible Expenses: Payroll and benefits, mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies including protective equipment and cleaning materials, food, operational expenses, covered supplier costs as defined by the SBA under the PPP program, sick leave, and any other expenses deemed essential by the Administrator.
  • Covered Period: Grants can be spent on eligible expenses from Feb. 15, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2021, and the administrator may extend the period through two years from enactment if conditions warrant.
  • Set Asides: $5 billion of the $28.6 billion total is reserved for restaurants with less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019 for the first 60 days of the program. During the initial 21-day period, the administrator will prioritize awarding grants to eligible entities that are owned or controlled by women or veterans or are socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.
  • How to Apply: sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund.

Guidance is also available in Spanish: sba.gov/restaurants.

As Schumer noted, across New York City 250,000 jobs in the hospitality industry—including the food industry—were lost in 2020 due to the regional industry’s struggles throughout the pandemic. Across Long Island more than 82,000 people that work in restaurants and in the hospitality industry lost their jobs due to the regional industry’s struggles.

“New York restaurants, their employees and our overall economy need immediate federal relief to weather COVID and recover because too many of the places we know and love could close without the help, leaving a giant hole in our economy,” Schumer said. “That is why I fought so hard to make sure this relief bill included a vital ingredient—a restaurants relief fund based on the bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act—to get our restaurants ‘cookin’’ again. Getting federal dollars into the hands of struggling small businesses, like restaurants across New York City and Long Island, not only makes sense, but it’s the recipe needed to keep small businesses going and keeping their workers on the job.”

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