Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
April 7, 2022
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in support of H.R. 3807, the Relief for Restaurants and other Hard-Hit Small Businesses Act, which would replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and establish a ‘Hard-Hit Industries Award Program’ to keep employees on the payroll at businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
 
Click here to watch the video.
 
“Madam Speaker, last year, when Democrats enacted the American Rescue Plan, we set aside $28.6 billion in emergency grants to help restaurants and bars that have experienced significant revenue losses due to COVID-19 restrictions. The aim was to help them stay open and keep their employees on payroll. That funding quickly ran out, however, with only a third of restaurants that applied for assistance ultimately receiving it. The legislation before us today would replenish the Small Business Administration’s restaurant revitalization fund with an additional $42 billion so that the more-than 150,000 restaurants still waiting in the queue can finally get the help they need.
 
“Those applicants have been waiting since funding ran out last year, and according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, 86% of owners have indicated that they may close down if they aren’t able to access these grants. More than 90,000 restaurants and bars already have shut down in the pandemic. Think about the impact of that on neighborhoods, communities, and local economies. Congress has to act – and act quickly.
 
“Also in this legislation, we are including $13 billion in relief for a new ‘Hard-Hit Industries Award Program,’ which will provide assistance to similarly impacted small businesses that the pandemic response has forced into an often-untenable economic situation. Gyms, health clubs, salons, music venues, and other places where people hope to congregate but couldn’t – because of necessary pandemic restrictions – will get a lifeline as we all hope to get ‘back to normal.’ Importantly, that lifeline to keep legitimate small businesses afloat is paid for in this legislation by recapturing funds that were earlier disbursed to fraudulent applicants. We’re going after bad actors to reward good ones.   While this is an issue important to so many members of our Caucus, i want to thank Rep. Blumenauer for sponsoring this legislation as well as Rep. Phillips for championing this cause over the past several months.
 
“I urge my colleagues to join us and vote ‘yes.’”