Restaurant Relief Bill Introduced

July 21, 2021

On July 20, House Committee on Small Business Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) introduced H.R. 4568, Entrepreneurs Need Timely Replenishment for Eating Establishments (ENTRÉE) Act.

Due to pandemic restrictions, such as capacity limits and lockdowns, many restaurants and other establishments have struggled to keep their doors open and make ends meet this past year. The ENTRÉE Act aims to assist restaurant owners who are working to keep their businesses open and their employees on payroll.

The $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was created by the American Rescue Plan and ran by the Small Business Administration (SBA) provided desperately needed relief to more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses across the nation with significant funding going to our hardest-hit, underserved businesses. As outlined by Congress, restaurants and bars were eligible for economic aid equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, with a cap of $10 million per business and $5 million per location. The funds were available for certain eligible uses, like payroll and rent.

The ENTRÉE Act would:

  • Provide $60 billion to the RRF, paid for by rescinding money from unspent Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and state and local funds within President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
  • Increase oversight responsibilities and audit requirements for the SBA.
  • Eliminate preferential treatment for priority groups (the American Rescue Plan created a 21-day priority period for women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged applicants for SBA loans).
  • Require all applications to be received, reviewed, and processed on a first come, first served basis.

Rep. Luetkemeyer is urging his colleagues to swiftly pass this legislation so restaurant owners everywhere can receive the assistance they so desperately need.