Statement by Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Chris Swonger on the Reintroduction of the RESTAURANTS Act
“The reintroduction of the RESTAURANTS Act brings a glimmer of hope to hospitality businesses under severe financial duress from the pandemic. The toll on restaurants, bars and craft distilleries has been devastating and the hospitality industry has a long road ahead toward economic recovery. The $120 billion in grants provided through this legislation will accelerate their revitalization by providing the critical funding needed to stabilize their businesses and plan for a more promising future. We urge Congress to include the RESTAURANTS Act in the next COVID-19 relief package and move swiftly to get these businesses the aid they desperately need.”
Background on the RESTAURANTS Act:
- The RESTAURANTS Act was reintroduced yesterday by lead sponsors Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in the House and Sen. Sinema (D-AZ) and Sen. Wicker (R-MS) in the Senate.
- The bill creates a $120 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Through this fund, eligible entities may receive grants of up to $10 million to offset revenue losses in 2020 compared to 2019.
- An eligible entity includes: a restaurant, saloon, tavern, bar, lounge, tasting room, taproom, licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products, or similar facility.
- Grants may be used for payroll, mortgage or rent payments, utilities, maintenance expenses (including construction to accommodate outdoor seating), supplies (including protective equipment), food and beverage expenses within the scope of normal business practice, debt obligations, operational expenses, and paid sick leave.