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:
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.