Restaurant specific grant money to be included in next COVID stimulus bill.
Late yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer outlined the framework of the COVID stimulus bill they hope to unveil later this month.
The framework includes a reference to a “dedicated grant relief program for restaurants”, and Sen. Schumer has suggested that this program will receive $25 billion in funding. The language is still be drafted, and the National Restaurant Association has been working with congressional leaders on how best to structure a program that will benefit the entire restaurant sector. More details are needed, particularly whether the plan will eliminate the tip credit and institute a $15 wage. But it is encouraging news for our 10-month efforts to secure restaurant-specific relief for our industry.
Q). How long is the authorization of beer, wine and mixed drinks to go?
A). This authorization extends until the end of the pandemic. There had been some concern that the authorization would expire on February 28, but the law makes clear that it shall be authorized until Governor's Pandemic Executive Order remains in effect.
Q). Has the state and ABCC extended the outdoor dining authorization?
A). Yes. The state has waived the requirements surrounding outdoor expansion. Local license authorities still have the ability to set dates, restrictions, etc. We encourage all local license authorities to finalize what is necessary over the next month, so that restaurants can hit the ground running as soon as the weather permits.
Q). How much PPP money is left?
A). SBA has released updated PPP data as of 1/31/21. Nationwide there have been 891,044 approvals for $72.7 billion with 4942 lenders participating. In Massachusetts, there have been 22,707 approvals for $2.258 Billion. Massachusetts represents 2.6% of the nationwide activity and by 3.1% of the total money approved.
New Coronavirus Impact Survey
Please complete this new Coronavirus restaurant impact survey. MRA is partnering with the National Restaurant Association to gather critical data that will be very valuable to our ongoing advocacy and communications efforts during this crisis. This survey will stay open until COB Wednesday, Feb. 10th. These surveys and the subsequent results have been very instrumental in getting our messages across at the State House, in Washington DC and with the media.