NEWS: Senate passes $28.6B restaurant and bar grant program

It’s official: we’re closer to securing relief for independent restaurants and bars than we’ve ever been before. Today, the Senate voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which includes $28.6 billion in funding for a grant program to support independent restaurants and bars. Both the House and Senate have now voted in favor of this industry-saving program, which means 11 million people working in independent restaurants and bars and over 500,000 small businesses across the nation will soon have the relief they need to survive this crisis.

This is a big deal. It’s been one year since our movement to save America’s independent restaurants and bars first began—and now, we’re getting results. Together, we introduced legislation in both chambers of Congress, generated tens of thousands of emails to lawmakers urging them to sign on, and earned the support of 269 representatives in the House and Senate as a result of these tireless efforts.

It’s not been an easy road. We’ve lost many beloved neighborhood institutions along the way—and the businesses that have managed to keep their doors open did so through two winter seasons, ever-changing restrictions and uncertainty of when relief would come. So, as we celebrate the passage of legislation that will help save millions of jobs and small businesses around the country, we say thanks to everyone who fought to save our industry over these last twelve months.

Once the grant program is signed into law, the hard work begins to ensure independent restaurant owners and operators have the resources they need to access it efficiently, and that there are enough funds to go around. We know $28.6 billion is only a fraction of what our industry needs to get to the other side of this. That’s why we’ll continue to advocate on Capitol Hill to make sure the program gets replenished as needed—and we’ll need your help to do it.

We’ll be in touch as the legislation moves from the Senate and over to President Biden’s desk for signing, and soon, with resources on how you can access the program. We wouldn’t be here today without the unwavering support of advocates like you. Together, we raised our voices, took a seat at the table in Washington, D.C., and won restaurant relief for hundreds of thousands of small businesses and millions of workers.

Thank you for fighting alongside us.

In solidarity,
The IRC Team

P.S. Forward this to your friends and family in the industry, and encourage them to sign up for email updates so they receive all the latest information and resources necessary to take advantage of federal grants when the time comes: saverestaurants.comjoin.

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