Elizabeth Warren Is Trying To Bring Back Pandemic Aid For Restaurants

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was inarguably difficult for everyone. With non-essential workers having little choice but to stay shut up in their homes, many businesses found themselves suddenly floundering to stay open.

Sit-down restaurants in particular faced closures due to staffing shortages and an utter lack of business. The U.S. government (as well as individuals such as Guy Fieri) set up a relief fund to help restaurants that were hit hardest, in terms of revenue. According to the Small Business Administration, priority was given to businesses owned by women, veterans, and other minorities, as these were most at risk.

As the outbreak temporarily slowed and people started dining out again, restaurants flourished. But now, with the latest variant looming, small businesses may be facing a second wave of financial insecurity. However, some individuals are looking for new ways to provide financial aid before businesses shut down for good. 

Another wave of COVID, another wave of aid

Nearly $30 million in aid was granted to restaurants in early 2021, says Eater Boston. Unfortunately, all that funding was gone by summer, leaving many small businesses still in desperate need. Although a second fund was proposed, it's been stuck in Congress since June 2021.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is among those who have been pushing hard for the second fund. She explained to Eater that small businesses are "a critical part of our state, and a critical part of who we are as a people. If we lose a big chunk of them permanently, we're going to have a hard time rebuilding our communities."

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021 would add $60 million to the fund, according to the National Restaurant Association. Over $40 million in applications went unfunded by the first round of pandemic aid. If the fund is replenished, hopefully more beloved small businesses will get the help they need.