Rose Pushes Legislation to Support Struggling Restaurants
Bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act would establish $120 billion stabilization grant program to help independent restaurants who have faced massive revenue losses, increased costs, decreased business
As indoor dining is delayed further across New York City and restaurants continue to struggle to survive, Congressman Max Rose is backing a bipartisan proposal to establish a stabilization fund to help independent restaurants. The Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020, which Rose is cosponsoring, would establish a $120 billion restaurant stabilization grant program designed to help independent restaurants deal with the long-term structural challenges facing the industry due to COVID-19 and ensure they can reemploy workers and stay in business.
“Our restaurants have been hit incredibly hard by this pandemic and the economic shutdown,” Rose said. “They’re doing everything they can to play by the rules, do the right thing, and safely stay in business—but unfortunately for far too many that still won’t be enough to survive. This bipartisan legislation would provide critical relief to help close the revenue gaps without putting restaurant owners in greater debt. They need the help and I won’t stop fighting for them.”
Restaurants are facing months of massive revenue losses, rising costs of supplies, new expenses for personal protective equipment, and a decreased capacity for service. The RESTAURANTS Act would provide grant values to cover the difference between revenues from 2019 and projected revenues through 2020, with a maximum grant of $10 million which would not need to be paid back. The program, which would be made available through 2020, would be administered by the Department of the Treasury and available to food service or drinking establishments that are not publicly traded or part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name.
“The restaurant industry was amongst the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rob DeLuca, owner of DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant on Staten Island who helped spearhead the Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue (I.R.O.A.R.). “Restaurants are the backbones of their communities. We’re some of the hardest working people in America. We support so many families through our establishments. We need the government to come together to get this bill passed. Every other industry has been bailed out, except us. We need the government's help. The bill looks great overall, still some work needs to be done in the details. We also need to get this right the first time, unlike PPP which needed to be reformed. Congressman Rose has been listening to us, he’s helping us have our voice. Together we can accomplish a lot and help so many hard working Americans bounce back.”
Last month, following continued meetings and conversations with restaurant owners across Staten Island and South Brooklyn, Rose called on the Governor and Mayor to take action to help New York City restaurants safely reopen with clear safety guidelines and timelines.
Rose has continued to fight for and prioritize the needs of small businesses. Last month, the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which Rose co-sponsored, was signed into law and included many critical fixes for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Following Congress passing additional funding for relief programs to help businesses and nonprofits, Rose called on four of the leading banks to prioritize the truly small businesses that are hurting most over larger corporations and businesses. Rose also testified before the House Committee on Small Business urging more safeguards to ensure federal funding goes to small and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits that need them most.
As the new tax filing date of July 15 quickly approaches and businesses continue to face limited revenues, Rose called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to extend the federal tax filing deadline three more months, to October 15.