Press Releases

Rose Calls for Enhanced PPP Relief for NYC Restaurants in Next COVID Relief Package

Congressman calls for additional reopening expenses to be eligible for reimbursement, mandating lenders proactively reach out to the smallest and hardest hit restaurants, and ensuring our restaurants can easily access a second round of PPP

Washington, July 30, 2020

Congressman Max Rose, who has been a strong advocate for struggling restaurants across Staten Island and South Brooklyn, is urging Congressional leaders to prioritize relief for the restaurant industry through enhancements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Specifically, Rose is calling for expenses including for PPE, insurance costs, and costs to conform to local government regulations as cities and states reopen to be eligible for PPP forgiveness. In addition, Rose seeks to mandate that lenders proactively reach out to the smallest and hardest-hit restaurant customers, and to allow small businesses from the restaurant industry to apply for a second round of PPP, even if they do not meet the Senate-proposed 50% revenue loss threshold.

 

“As you negotiate the next package of relief for businesses and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, I urge you to include a second round of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that ensures that the hardest hit industries, like the restaurant industry, are prioritized in the program’s processing and disbursement, and include language to mandate that SBA lenders proactively reach out to their restaurant industry clients to expedite this second round and prevent confusion,” wrote Rose in a letter to House and Senate leadership. “We know well the mistakes made in the first round of PPP, and we must never repeat them. Restaurants are suffering disproportionately, with sales decreasing from $66 billion in February of this year, to $30 billion by April. With mounting local restrictions like those in New York City, make no mistake—this industry is in danger of going under, and the programs we authorize now must prevent that from happening.”

 

Rose has been a strong supporter of restaurants who have been struggling due to the pandemic. Earlier this month, Rose backed the bipartisan Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020, which 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.

 

Rose has continued to fight for and prioritize the needs of small businesses. Last week, Rose joined a bipartisan push urging Congressional leadership to allow small businesses to apply for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) forgivable loans, and urging increased transparency into how taxpayer dollars are being disbursed through PPP, as well as improved oversight and accuracy.

 

Additionally, the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which Rose co-sponsored, was signed into law last month and included many critical fixes for the 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.

 

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 concluded his letter, “Our restaurants have reached the end of their rope, and it is time that we step up as leaders and support them—not doing so would condemn this industry, and potentially destroy one of the cultural bedrocks of New York City, and of this country.”

 

Full text of letter HERE.

###