As owners of independent and family-run restaurants struggle to stay afloat, the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed To Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act could help them overcome the structural changes happening across the industry. This legislation would create a $120 billion grant program for non-chain restaurants who have lost business in the wake of federally mandated social-distancing orders.
Even as some restaurants reopen for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining, many are still suffering from financial losses after being closed for months or operating at a much lower capacity. This means thousands of neighborhood spots might go out of business, leaving millions of restaurant workers without jobs.
In June, the Paycheck Protection Program was enacted to provide financial aid to restaurants and other businesses in the form of loans. But even some U.S. Congresspeople have acknowledged that this program “doesn’t fit the needs of the many restaurants hit hard by the pandemic.” And with business owners across the country accumulating more and more debt, it’s expected that thousands of restaurants could permanently close by the end of the year.
While ordering takeout, tipping well, and donating to nonprofits are all important ways to help the restaurant community right now, you should also let your local representative know that helping independent restaurants and workers survive this crisis is important to you. The Independent Restaurants Coalition has made it easy to ask your rep to support the Restaurants Act with this automatic email builder. You can also can also share this infographic using the hashtags #saverestaurants and #toosmalltofail to amplify their mission on social media.