Independent Restaurants Urge Senate to Pass Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Improvements in House HEROES Act

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Today, the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) released the following statement on the passage of the HEROES Act related to the paycheck protection program in the House of Representatives:

The passage of the HEROES Act in the House is a sign that over 500,000 independent restaurants from across the country have been heard on Capitol Hill. We are deeply grateful for Congress’ willingness to listen to the unique needs of independent restaurants, and especially the efforts of Speaker Pelosi, Chairwoman Nydia Velázquezand Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, to include them in this legislation.
When the CARES Act became law, over 28,000 people joined the Independent Restaurant Coalition to tell Congress that simple fixes to make Paycheck Protection Program loans more flexible would allow independent restaurants to take full advantage of the relief program.  The changes to the Paycheck Protection Program in the HEROES Act will give independent restaurants a better chance at keeping their doors open in the weeks ahead.  We hope the Senate follows suit and takes action to protect over 11 million jobs.” 

Paycheck Protection Program explained

The Paycheck Protection Program as structured does not help the tens of thousands of restaurants who are still prohibited from opening their doors due to Coronavirus. After the eight week clock runs out after a restaurant originates a loan, independent restaurants will still be closed and forced to once again lay off employees.

The HEROES Act would make the following changes to improve the Paycheck Protection Program:

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  • Extend the loan period to 24 weeks from the origination date, as opposed to the original eight weeks.
  • Give businesses until the end of the year to rehire full time workers to qualify for forgiveness, a change from the original June 30th deadline.
  • Give restaurants more flexibility in how they spend loans by removing the 75% payroll requirement.

Just days after the Independent Restaurant Coalition formed in March, over 28,000 people across the country called for additional flexibility in PPP funding in a letter to Congress, noting that, the bill was written in such a way that prevents restaurants from taking advantage of the program’s benefits.”

Since the IRC wrote that letter to Congress, over 6 million restaurant workers have lost their jobs, more than any single industry. More than 1 in 4 Americans put out of work in April alone were restaurant workers.