Senator’s roundtable comes after passage of her bipartisan Restaurant Rescue Plan into law to save Arizona jobs and fuel economic recovery
PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema hosted a roundtable discussion with Arizona restaurant owners to discuss Sinema’s Restaurant Rescue Plan—recently passed into law as part of the COVID-relief law—and how Arizona restaurants can access critical relief and save Arizona jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Restaurants employ Arizonans across our state and represent an essential part of our state’s economy—and these businesses have been especially hard-hit by the pandemic. Thanks to our partnership with local restaurant owners, we passed our bipartisan Restaurant Rescue Plan into law, ensuring critical relief so Arizona restaurants can keep their doors open as we begin a full economic recovery,” said Sinema.
“The Arizona Restaurant Association is extremely grateful for the passage of the American Rescue Plan. The inclusion of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund by Senator Sinema is a game changer for an industry that is a critical jobs and economic driver for Arizona. At its worst, the industry was forced to furlough or lay off nearly 80% of our workforce and we have seen revenue losses in excess of $2.7 billion. Congress doesn’t agree on much these days, but Senator Sinema’s bipartisan plan will truly restore restaurants in Arizona and across the country. The Arizona Restaurant Association is grateful for her leadership for Arizona’s restaurant industry and her bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate,” said Steve Chucri, President and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association.
The restaurant roundtable was held at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix with local restaurant owners such as the Larder and the Delta, Lucky Wishbone, Streets of New York, Chase’s Diner, Satchmo’s, among others. Sinema organized the event to begin sharing information with restaurant owners on how they can access this and other new relief.
Restaurants are a driving force in Arizona’s economy. In 2019, Arizona restaurants created 310,600 food service and related jobs and were responsible for 11% of employment in the state. However, across the country restaurants have been uniquely devastated by COVID-19. In April alone, 5.5 million restaurant workers lost their jobs. Without federal relief, another 11 million restaurant workers would stand to lose their jobs permanently.
The coronavirus relief bill signed into law establishes a $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, as proposed by Sinema’s bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act. Restaurant owners do not need to pay back grants and can use the funding for payroll, benefits, mortgages, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies, protective equipment, cleaning materials, food, paid sick leave, and any other expenses deemed essential.