More stimulus checks are nowhere to be seen, and it is unlikely that Congress will send more stimulus checks to Americans. There could, however, be more coronavirus stimulus checks for restaurants in the form of replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
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Congress approved the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) in April 2021, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) was responsible for allocating the funds. The fund was quickly exhausted, considering restaurants were among the hardest hit industries during the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, the funds allocated were far less than what the applicants requested. Congress approved $28.6 billion for the program, but the applicants requested more than $72 billion. Thus, there are demands to refill the RRF, and talks are reportedly ongoing for the same among lawmakers as well.
A report from bizjournals, citing a source familiar with the matter, said that legislation to refill the RRF could come before the end of the year. The report also claims that an initial draft of the legislation is already in the works, and talks are ongoing between lawmakers on various small business committees in the House and Senate.
Moreover, these talks among lawmakers are in coordination with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
Replenishing Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Though lawmakers are talking about coronavirus stimulus checks for restaurants, it is likely to be approved only after Congress is done with the infrastructure bills. Presently, Congress is busy with the infrastructure bills, including a $1 trillion bill that would fund roads and bridges, and another $3.5 trillion bill, which includes tax credits for families with kids.
It is believed that once Congress is done with these bills, it would focus on providing stimulus to the hardest-hit industries, including restaurants, gyms and the live events industry.
Brian Doyle, spokesperson for Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), says that lawmakers are strongly pushing for a relief package for small businesses hit by the Delta variant, according to bizjournals. Late last month, his office came out with a press release claiming that Pelosi has promised Phillips on creating a small business relief package in the House.
Also, the spokesperson of Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md), who is the chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, confirmed Cardin's commitment to helping industries hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
Expectations are that coronavirus stimulus checks for restaurants could come by the end of the year, but plans could change as they did with the infrastructure bills. The current infrastructure bills were expected to be approved much earlier this year.
Apart from restaurants, other industries are also working to win approval for their funding programs. The hotel industry, for instance, is pushing Congress to approve $20 billion in aid for its hardest-hit hotels.