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Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

April 8, 2022

More Relief May Be on the Way for Struggling Restaurants

In a much-anticipated and much-needed effort to help restaurants and small businesses still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, the US House of Representatives voted on April 7, 2022, to approve more than $40 billion to replenish the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund. That fund had provided federal grants to over 100,000 small businesses, including restaurants, but left another 260,000 or so out in the cold when it quickly ran out of money in May 2021.  

The new bill, known as the “Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Business Act of 2022,” will allow restaurant owners whose applications for grants under the original Restaurant Relief Fund were approved but not funded to receive grant money from a new $42 billion fund. The bill also provides an additional $13 billion for new applications submitted by small businesses, including those in the restaurant industry, with fewer than 200 employees.  

The House bill still faces an uphill battle in the US Senate, which introduced its own $40 billion bill to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on April 6, 2022, and includes stricter auditing requirements to prevent fraud along with provisions for transparency and customer service to ensure sharing of information. Passage of the House bill, however, is an important and significant first step in providing relief to the many thousands of restaurants that have had to close, reduce operations, or persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic with limited resources, dining restrictions, decreased demand, labor shortages, and supply chain issues.  

Industry groups and restaurant owners are hoping that both bills will be scheduled for debate soon after the Senate returns from its recess, which ends on April 25. Barclay Damon’s Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team will continue to closely monitor these bills and provide additional updates. Should the bills be signed into law, attorneys on the firm’s Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team will be ready to assist you with any part of the application process or receipt of federal grants.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Scott Rogoff, Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team leader, at srogoff@barclaydamon.com, or another member of the firm’s Hotels, Hospitality & Food Service Team.

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