国会取消向餐馆振兴基金(RRF)增加拨款

2022-03-09 16:12  来源: 中餐通讯编

为【餐馆振兴基金计划】提供补充拨款的提案,昨天被排除在联邦拨款法案最终版本之外。国会关闭了重启餐馆振兴基金(RRF)的窗口。

据【餐厅行业】(Restaurant Business)杂志记者彼得-罗密欧2022年3月8日报道,昨天(周二),餐厅振兴基金(RRF)的联邦拨款援助窗口悄然关闭,RRF向联邦申请更多拨款以援助餐廰行业重启经营为重点的计划条款完全被排除联邦政府提供资金的拨款方案的最终版本之外。此项联邦拨款方案在周五3月11日送到國会做表决投票。

这是国会正面临的最后投票期限,以批准额外的联邦拨款资金来维持政府的运作。

餐厅振兴基金(RRF)补充资金的预算请求未获采纳,被排除在最终送往国会投票的预算方案版本之外,因此RRF失去了获得联邦提供更多资金的机会。

餐厅振兴基金(RRF)是美国经济救援计划的一个组成部分,是拜登总统在2021年3月签署成为法律的全面COVID救济方案,获得最初的286亿美元拨款。然而在申请日截止后不到三周的时间内,用完了286亿美元拨款。约17.7万名潜在餐饮企业主有资格获得补助,却因资金枯竭而空手而归。

随后,RRF餐廰振兴基金的管理者美国小企业管理局(SBA)表示,如果国会后续为该基金分配更多拨款,将按照收到申请的顺序进行处理,给餐廰继续发放重启运营的救助金。

"全美餐馆同业会(NRA)的共事务执行副总裁肖恩-肯尼迪(Sean Kennedy)在一份声明中说:"今天关于国会将放弃RRF的消息对17.7万家餐馆是一个沉重的打击,他们现在面临着一些令人难以置信的困难决定。对大多数经济体来说,新冠疫情大流行病已经结束,但小企业的餐馆老板们每一个变量都要退两步"

餐饮行业曾再度发起了激烈的游说努力,以说服国会,餐饮业需要更多的资金援助来维持全美的餐馆恢复正常。一些重新启动的措施得到了两党的支持,但许多国会议员和参议员认为餐饮行业已经得到了最初的经济救援;另一方面,许多立法者还认为,餐饮行业已度过了疫情大流行灾害最严重的时期。为紧缩联邦政府的开支,对为RRF追加拨款的方案做了否决,而不纳入最终投票的立法提案内。

2021年里,RRF计划面向少于20家分店的餐饮业小企业经营者,提供每家小企业最高可达1000万美元的恢复营业救援拨款。从餐廰经营者们的角度,随着租金和偿债等递延费用的到期,他们仍在努力维持业务,面临巨大的资金挑战。

"由于国会在餐馆振兴基金上的不作为,数以千计的社区餐馆将被关闭,"独立餐馆联盟的执行董事埃里克-波尔马在一份声明中说。" 我每天都听到企业主不得不关门的命运"。

除了政府部门之外,餐饮业提供了最多的工作机会。肯尼迪在他的声明中说:"餐饮行业是美國第二大私营雇主,我们将继续追求一个全面的立法议程,以进一步推进和重建美國餐饮业!”

由于最新的联邦拨款立法中没有包括向餐饮业补充救助资金,餐饮行业联合起来正在寻求获得额外援助方案或倡导一个新颁布的独立法案。

CONGRESSDASHES CHANCES OF RESTARTING THE RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND

Aprovision replenishing the aid program for restaurants was excluded from theappropriation bills that will likely pass to keep the government funded.

By Peter Romeo on Mar. 08, 2022

A window forresurrecting the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) slid shut on Tuesday whena provision for replenishing the industry-focused aid program was excluded fromthe final version of the appropriations package that will fund the federalgovernment after Friday.

Congress wasfacing a March 11 deadline to appropriate more money to keep the governmentrunning. Because of the scope and focus of the various legislative measuresthat renew the federal budget, the occasion was seen as an opportunity toprovide more money for the RRF, which ran through its initial allotment of$28.6 billion in less than three weeks.

About 177,000would-be recipients were left empty-handed. But the program’s administrator,the U.S. Small Business administration, said the requests would be processed inthe order they were received if Congress allocated more money for the fund.

The industry has mounted an intense effort since then toconvince Congress that more direct aid was needed for the nation’s restaurantsto survive. They noted that the initial pool had been a lifeline for operatorsfrom coast to coast.

Several of the re-up measures had bipartisan support, butmany congresspeople and senators believed the industry had had its turn at theaid well, a comeback also used by the White House.

According to Beltway insiders, there was also a feelingamong many lawmakers that the industry had already weathered the worst of thepandemic. Operators pleaded that they were still fighting to stay in businessas deferred expenses such as rent and debt service came due.

“Today’s news that Congress is walking away from the RRFis a gut punch to the 177,000 restaurants who now have some incrediblydifficult decisions ahead of them,” Sean Kennedy, EVP of public affairs for theNational Restaurant Association, said in a statement. “The pandemic is over formuch of the economy, but small business restaurant owners have taken two stepsback with every variant.”

“Thousands of neighborhood restaurants are going to closeas a result of Congressional inaction on the Restaurant RevitalizationFund," Erika Polmar, executive director of the Independent RestaurantCoalition, said in a statement. “I hear from business owners every day who arehaving to close their doors, and since Congress and the White House couldn’tsee their way to refill the RRF, hundreds more will face the same fate in thecoming weeks."

With a re-up excluded from the appropriations legislation,the industry’s options for securing additional aid have narrowed to eitherfinding another vehicle for the reallocation or championing a newly craftedstand-alone bill.

“We will continue to pursue an all-of-the-above agenda torebuild and advance the nation’s second-largest private employer,” Kennedy saidin his statement.

The RRF program provided grants of up to $10 million tooperators of fewer than 20 restaurants. It was a component of the AmericanRescue Plan, the comprehensive COVID relief package that President Biden signedinto law in March 2021.


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