Congress’s $2 Trillion Relief Package Offers Hope to Restaurateurs

Grand Army in Brooklyn. Photo: Noah Fecks

There may be some good news for the restaurant industry. Congress’s coronavirus-relief package currently includes $350 billion in paycheck support for businesses to continue making payroll. Any company with 500 or fewer employees can get up to $10 million in forgivable small loans. Restaurant operators will have a couple questions, including whether they can apply for these after laying off most of their staff since they were ordered to shut down, and whether the loans will be something they’re able to take on. Last week, the National Restaurant Association sent President Trump and Congress a request for a $145 billion recovery fund that includes loans, grants, tax cuts and credits, federally backed business-interruption insurance, and assistance in paying the unemployed.

The many, many restaurant workers who have found themselves out of a job and without anywhere to find another one will also get some relief. The package will expand the unemployment benefit by an additional $600 a week for up to four months, as well as provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance for those out of work because of the pandemic. The coverage is retroactive to January 27, and includes independent contractors and those who work in the gig economy.

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Congress’s Relief Package Offers Hope to Restaurateurs