Sinema introduced the bipartisan legislation in June after hearing from Arizona restaurants and businesses
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema urged bipartisan Congressional leaders to immediately pass the bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act – legislation Sinema and Republican Senator Roger Wicker (MS) introduced in June that establishes the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide local Arizona restaurateurs with funding to rehire workers and deal with the long-term ramifications of COVID-19.
“Congress must immediately pass our bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act to protect jobs, ensure Arizona restaurants keep their doors open, and help lay the groundwork for a full economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sinema.
Sinema’s letter comes as coronavirus cases are spiking in Arizona and across the country. The Independent Restaurant Coalition supports Sinema’s letter.
Click HERE to read Sinema’s letter.
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 stand to lose their jobs permanently.
Sinema’s bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act creates the Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant program, authorizing $120 billion to provide structured relief to restaurants. Under the bill, the Department of the Treasury will administer the RRF program and source the $120B from its CARES Act allotment. Awards will be one-time grants valued to cover the difference between revenues from 2019 and projected revenues through 2020, with a maximum grant of $10 million. Restaurants do not need to pay back their grants and can use the funding for payroll, benefits, mortgages, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies, protective equipment, cleaning materials, food, and any other expenses deemed essential by the Treasury.