Biden signs American Rescue Plan restaurant relief into law
President Biden on Thursday afternoon signed the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout package, which includes $ 1,400 stimulus checks for Americans with incomes below $ 75,000 (or $ 150,000 for households) and $ 28.6 billion in relief grants for small restaurants, but without the Democrats-backed minimum wage of $ 15. . Stimulus checks are expected to start rolling out over the next few days, while the timing for which the Small Business Administration will begin accepting restaurant grant applications is unclear.
“This historic legislation aims to rebuild the backbone of this country and give the people of this country, the workers, the middle class people, the people who built this country, a chance to fight,” said Biden when he signed the bill in the Oval Office. .
Senate changes to the original House bill include lowering unemployment benefits and extending the deadline to September 6. The bill also subsidizes 100% of COBRA insurance coverage for unemployed Americans, up from the 85% the House proposed.
The US bailout also includes the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which will now provide $ 28.6 billion in debt-free relief to small and medium-sized restaurants and is based on the original $ 109 billion RESTAURANTS law passed by the House last year.
“These grants will inject a much needed stimulus throughout the supply chain to begin to balance the economic damage done as restaurants are struggling,” the National Restaurant Association president and CEO said Thursday, Tom Bené, in a press release. “We are still a long way from a full recovery and it is likely that more grants will be needed to get us there, but today the industry has hope for the future.”
As we reported yesterday, the Small Business Administration will likely open Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant applications “weeks, not months” after the law is signed. Additionally, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Or.) Confirmed that as long as franchisees meet the size requirements (less than 20 locations) and are not publicly traded entities, then they can apply for grants under the Restaurant revitalization fund.
As a reminder, the bill also includes:
- A new $ 15 billion grant program for struggling small business owners, separate from the existing paycheck protection program, as well as a $ 35 billion investment in local financing programs that provide businesses low interest loans.
- An extension of the moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures until the end of September, with $ 5 billion set aside to help tenants who are struggling to pay their rent.
- Reinstatement of emergency paid sick leave until the end of September
- $ 350 billion in aid to state and local governments
- $ 170 billion in aid for kindergartens and higher education
- $ 50 billion for Covid-19 testing
- SNAP benefits increase by 15% until September
- $ 20 billion for a national immunization program, in partnership with state and local governments
- Increase the child tax credit to $ 3,000 per child ($ 3,600 for children under 6) and make it refundable for the year
Biden is expected to address the country in his first Oval Office speech Thursday night at 8 p.m. EST.
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