February 8, 2021 — DHC’s Washington, D.C. office has been engaged with Members of Congress in both the House and Senate regarding the next federal stimulus package and are closely monitoring funding for restaurants. President Biden’s proposal for a $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief package currently includes a $25 billion grant program for struggling restaurants which Leader Schumer has championed.
The details of the provision are still being negotiated, but it will likely allow eligible food service and drinking establishments to file for grants of up to $10 million to make up for lost revenue in 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund would be available to eateries that are not part of a chain or franchise with more than 20 locations, for example, McDonald’s or Starbucks, and includes anything from restaurants, food stands, bars, wineries, pubs and food carts.
As currently proposed, the restaurant grants will not require a specific 25 percent lost revenue threshold. The size of the grant would be determined based on lost revenue over the past year due to COVID and pandemic related shutdowns. Grants would not need to be paid back, unless grantees permanently closed or did not spend the grants on eligible expenses, in which case the grant turns into low-interest loan.
As part of the reconciliation process, the House and Senate both passed bills last week relating to the rules and budget which will allow Democrats to eventually pass the stimulus legislation with a simple majority vote. The House is expected to vote on a final package by the end of February, but the Senate will likely wait until March before voting on the legislation.
DHC will continue to provide updates as the legislation moves forward.