Washington, D.C. — This week, Representatives Dean Phillips (D-MN), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) are leading a bipartisan effort to urge House and Senate leadership calling for additional targeted small business relief.
Industries which rely on in-person services have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and many in these industries have been left out of previous aid packages. Thousands of applicants for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) were approved for aid but subsequently did not receive any funds due to demand exceeding funding totals and drawn-out court decisions related to RRF eligibility.
“We the undersigned call on House and Senate leadership to expedite a targeted relief package that funds all previously eligible requests through the RRF and allows small businesses in the fitness, live events, and travel industries to request much-needed federal assistance,” the lawmakers said in their letter. “For far too many, time is running out – but the window of opportunity remains open. Let’s work to get it done.”
The letter is co-signed by 83 Democrats and Republicans in Congress representing every pocket of our nation. Signers include Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), along with the lead sponsors of the bipartisan GYMs Act, RRF Replenishment Act, and the Save Hotel Jobs Act.
Small businesses, particularly those in the restaurant, hospitality, fitness, live events, and travel industries, continue to contend with an uneven economic recovery, global supply chain disruptions, and the ramifications of new COVID-19 variants. Phillips announced in September that he will be helping lead a package for additional small business aid after securing a promise from Speaker Pelosi.
Full text of the letter below:
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McCarthy, and Leader McConnell:
As Congress works to address the major challenges facing our nation, we ask that protecting the economic health and wellbeing of America’s small businesses – especially those disproportionately impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – remains a top priority.
While the U.S. economy continues to grow, the recovery has been uneven, and the negative effects of the rapid spread of new COVID-19 variants disproportionately impact businesses which rely upon in-person gathering to survive, including the restaurant, hospitality, fitness, live events, and travel industries. Especially as we head into the winter months, tens of thousands of small businesses across the country are faced with the possibility of layoffs, reduced service or hours, or outright closure, barring additional federal relief.
Congress has risen to the challenge before, standing up targeted relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), and the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) program. Together, these programs helped keep millions of Americans on payrolls, prevented countless small businesses from closing, and helped power an economic recovery much more robust than most would have predicted.
Unfortunately, not all small businesses in need were able to access these programs. Others did not receive much-needed financial assistance because the funds simply ran out. Instead of lifting all boats, we’ve only lifted some, leaving scores of small business owners out in the cold through no fault of their own. Many of these small business owners have taken on extraordinary debt while they wait for much-needed federal assistance. We must help them before it is too late.
We the undersigned call on House and Senate leadership to expedite a targeted relief package that funds all previously eligible requests through the RRF and allows small businesses in the fitness, live events, and travel industries to request much-needed federal assistance. These small businesses are critical to the cultural and economic vitality of our communities, and they need our help.
We thank you for your commitment to passing a targeted small-business relief package and we stand ready to work with you to ensure that it reaches those businesses with the greatest demonstrated need. For far too many, time is running out – but the window of opportunity remains open. Let’s work together to get it done.