Cisneros Co-Sponsors Bipartisan RESTAURANTS Relief Bill

July 21, 2020 by Sara Wilkerson
Rep. Gil Cisneros

WASHINGTON – Rep. Gilbert Cisneros, Jr., D-Calif., is the co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill aimed at providing financial relief for independent, non-chain restaurants within the restaurant industry.

The Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive Act of 2020, shortened as the RESTAURANTS Act of 2020, proposes that the U.S. Treasury set aside $120 billion for a grant program that will help struggling restaurants facing long term challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $120 billion package is intended to help restaurants stay in business and help re-employ 11 million American workers in the restaurant service industry.

“Independent, local restaurants in the 39th District [of California] and across the country have been hit hard by the coronavirus. Many are facing increased challenges in operating during this health crisis, while some have had to shut down or lay off workers,” Cisneros said in a statement.

“I’ve co-sponsored the bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act to provide the certainty, stability, and relief that our independent, local restaurants need and to keep workers employed,” he continued. 

“As we’re seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases and states halting their reopening process, this restaurant stabilization fund is needed now more than ever.”

The restaurant industry has been impacted severely since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the month of April, 5.5 million restaurant workers lost their jobs, which amounted to nearly 30% of the total job loss in April.

In the June employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in food services has risen by 1.5 million, yet despite these gains, the report said that overall employment in the industry has been “down by 3.1 million since February.”

The restaurant industry has been particularly hard hit due to state and federal regulations of reopenings, social distancing mandates and consumer reluctance to dine out.

The RESTAURANTS Act of 2020 was introduced last month by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Rep. Earl Bluemenauer, D-Ore.. The Act’s proposed $120 billion package will prioritize grants for marginalized and underrepresented communities, with a focus on women and minority-owned and operated businesses.

In order to be eligible for grants, businesses need to be independently owned and have annual revenues of less than $1.5 million. Additionally, businesses who have already received federal aid via the CARES Act or PPP loans will have a reduced grant amount according to the amounts they have already received.

According to the RESTAURANTS bill, the grants awarded to restaurants can be used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to payroll costs, mortgages, rent and debt payments, utilities, supplies, and maintenance upkeep and construction of outdoor seating areas.

Proponents of the RESTAURANTS bill include the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), who have worked in recent months to call on those in Congress and in the White House to create a stabilization fund for independent restaurants.

The IRC recently came out with a report detailing the overall impact of a stabilization fund. If such a fund were to be created, the unemployment rate would be reduced by 2.4% and the economy would grow up to $271 billion.

However, the IRC study also stated that if such a fund were not to be created, “this country risks permanently losing as many as 85% of independent restaurants by the end of the year.”

Business

Thanksgiving Food Prices Sink as Americans Scale Down Their Feasts
Economy
Thanksgiving Food Prices Sink as Americans Scale Down Their Feasts

Turkey prices are sinking as the pandemic may keep some American families from hosting big groups this Thanksgiving. The price of ingredients in a traditional turkey dinner for 10 people is down to the lowest level in a decade, driven largely by grocers discounting the meal's centerpiece to... Read More

Over Half of Americans Still Plan Thanksgiving Travel Amid COVID Concerns, Report Says
Opinion Polls
Over Half of Americans Still Plan Thanksgiving Travel Amid COVID Concerns, Report Says

As health officials warn of the risks of Thanksgiving travel, more than half of Americans still plan to venture away from home, according to a new survey. The website Tripadvisor says 56% of people intend to take trips for the holiday this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, a... Read More

Airlines Say Thanksgiving Demand is Faltering as CDC Warns Americans Not to Travel
Travel
Airlines Say Thanksgiving Demand is Faltering as CDC Warns Americans Not to Travel

DALLAS — Three of the biggest U.S. airlines say demand is weakening for the usually busy Thanksgiving period as the CDC cautioned Americans against traveling for the holiday. United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines said Thursday that they have seen an increase in cancellations and a decrease in new bookings as a surge in COVID-19 cases... Read More

Pfizer Plans Filing as Its COVID-19 Vaccine Proves 95% Effective
Health
Pfizer Plans Filing as Its COVID-19 Vaccine Proves 95% Effective

Pfizer Inc. said a final analysis of clinical trial data showed its COVID-19 vaccine was 95% effective, paving the way for the company to apply this week for the first U.S. regulatory authorization for a coronavirus shot. The U.S. drugmaker and partner BioNTech SE said their vaccine protected people of all ages and... Read More

EU Auditors: Antitrust Probes Too Slow to Curb Tech Giants
European Union
EU Auditors: Antitrust Probes Too Slow to Curb Tech Giants

LONDON (AP) — The EU's efforts to rein in the power of big tech companies such as Google and Facebook through antitrust investigations have taken too long, dulling their effectiveness, a report said Thursday. Legal tools available to the bloc's competition regulators, meanwhile, have not kept... Read More

FAA Clears Boeing 737 Max to Fly Again
Business
FAA Clears Boeing 737 Max to Fly Again

After nearly two years and a pair of deadly crashes, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has cleared Boeing’s 737 Max for flight. The nation’s air safety agency announced the move early Wednesday, saying it was done after a “comprehensive and methodical” 20-month review process. Regulators around the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top