When we set out on our fight to save independent restaurants, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But in our industry, we know that anything worth having is worth fighting for. We live by that every day in our kitchens and our dining rooms, and today is no exception.
Today, Senator McConnell proposed the HEALS Act — the next round of coronavirus aid — but it is not enough and does not provide direct aid to the nation’s 500,000 independent restaurants and bars. As we expected, the legislation includes another extension to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses but no industry-specific grant programs. These new loans are a start to protecting independent restaurants from permanently closing, but more must be done. The good news is this is just the beginning of negotiations.
Because of your efforts over the past several weeks, the Independent Restaurant Coalition has never been stronger. Among all of the small business relief proposals currently in Congress, the RESTAURANTS Act is the only one that carries bipartisan support from over 125 members of Congress in both chambers, representing over 30 states.
We are too loud to be ignored.
Your work has gotten us far – but we’re not done. Negotiations regarding the next round of COVID-19 relief will be ongoing in Washington, D.C. over the next couple of weeks, which is why it’s critical that we push harder and get louder:
Our fight to save the 500,000 independent restaurants across the country, and the 16 million jobs we support, is far from over. Our coalition MUST stay in this fight. Together, we can – and we will – #SaveRestaurants.