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Lawmakers Unveil $120 Billion, Bipartisan Bill To Aid Restaurants

June 22, 2020

A bipartisan group of legislators in the the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives is launching a new effort to provide economic relief to the independent restaurant industry amid the pandemic. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon introduced the Restaurant Act last week.

The bill would provide $120 billion in rescue grants for independent restaurants, with the money to be used for payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, protective equipment, food, or other costs. Restaurants receiving funds may not publicly traded and must have $1.5 million or less in revenue under normal circumstances. Independent restaurant revenue is down 51% this year due to the Covid-19 crisis, Blumenauer said, according to The Hill newspaper.

The new rescue bill is supported by the National Restaurant Association and Independent Restaurant coalition, whose leadership includes Jose Andres. Senators including Lindsey Graham, Kyrsten Sinema, Doug Jones, and Christopher Coons are also backing the bill, The Hill reported.—Daniel Marsteller

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