CONGRESSWOMAN ANGIE CRAIG SUPPORTS RESTAURANT AND BREWERY SMALL BUSINESSES
Today, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig convened owners of restaurants and breweries in the Second Congressional District, who have been hit devastatingly hard by the impacts of COVID-19. They focused their discussion on the flexibility needed in programs like the Paycheck Protection Program to support their businesses in the wake of COVID-19.
Rep. Craig meeting with local restaurants and breweries. You can watch the full discussion here. (05/08/20)
To address their concerns, Rep. Craig urged House and Senate leadership to extend the 8-week spending window and the requirement that all staff be rehired by June 30th to make a greater number of loans forgivable for restaurants that are facing dire uncertainty about how and when they will reopen.
“My conversation today with small businesses in Lakeville, Hastings and Mendota Heights reiterated what I’m hearing from hundreds of other small businesses across the district -- we need real relief for small businesses now,” said Rep. Angie Craig. “Especially when it comes to restaurants and breweries we need to make sure the relief provided works for them, to keep their businesses and dreams alive past COVID-19.”
You can read the full letter below.
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer:
I write to you today on behalf of the many restaurants in my district that are struggling in the face of the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For these small businesses to survive, the next relief package that Congress considers must make relief more accessible, flexible and generous, and that relief cannot come soon enough.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been an essential lifeline for many businesses in my district, but some of the conditions that the CARES Act and the Small Business Administration in its guidance and rulemaking have placed on the loans have made them unworkable for many restaurants as stay at home orders have been extended to protect public health.
Specifically, I call upon House and Senate negotiators to extend both the 8-week spending window and the requirement that all staff be rehired by June 30th in order to make a greater number of loans forgivable for local restaurants that are facing significant uncertainty about when their businesses will be allowed to reopen. Furthermore, additional protections are needed to ensure that true small businesses are first in line for these funds, especially those owned and operated by members of underrepresented and rural communities.
Additionally, I have been hearing concerns about the percentage of funds that must be disbursed on paying employees in order for the loans to be forgivable. Employees must be compensated, but tying the amount spent on compensation to past budgets, or allowing greater flexibility for rent and utilities to ensure the establishment doesn’t permanently close should be taken into consideration as additional small business relief is contemplated.
Please give strong consideration to these requests made on behalf of restaurateurs in my district and across the country whose livelihoods, and those of their employees, depend on them.
Member of Congress