Following President Biden signing the omnibus spending bill into law, the Flex Association wrote a letter to Hill leaders urging Congress to fund the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which has been a lifeline to restaurants and small businesses throughout the pandemic. The newly launched Flex Association serves as the voice of the app-based economy.
March 15, 2022
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515 The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Republican Leader U.S. House of Representatives H-232, The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Chuck Schumer Majority Leader U.S. Senate Room S-221, The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Mitch McConnell Minority Leader U.S. Senate Room S-230, The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20510
Re: Exclusion of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund in Omnibus Funding
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Republican Leader McCarthy, Minority Leader McConnell:
As President Biden signs the fiscal year 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act into law this afternoon, you’ll notice a critical piece is missing. The $1.5 trillion omnibus legislation will provide important investments to revitalize our economy; we look forward to its success. Yet, the restaurant industry - worth $898 billion and projected to grow by 400,000 jobs by the end of 2022 - has once again been left out of this important bill.
We write to urge you to include significant funding for the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) in future legislation to address the challenges that restaurants and bars face in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the nearly two-year deficit that these businesses incurred in the midst of consumer and operational uncertainty.
The RRF isn’t just a lifeline to restaurants that continue to struggle through escalating operational costs, labor shortages, Omicron, inflation and a multitude of other challenges. Millions of small business owners, entrepreneurs and communities rely on the success of restaurants who hire locally, shop locally and serve as cornerstone businesses in local communities. Our industry, America’s app-based rideshare and delivery platforms, have an important relationship with these independent businesses. Whether transporting patrons safely to and from bars and restaurants or serving as a critical revenue stream for restaurants, app-based companies both support these businesses, and are uniquely tied to their success.
We applaud Congress for the nearly $28.6 billion in economic relief that was provided to over 278,000 restaurants through the RRF and the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding has made a dramatic difference for restaurants in communities around the country. Restaurants have made tremendous progress in the last few months with the drawdown of pandemic restrictions and the return of in-person dining, and additional federal funding would help accelerate their growth and ensure they are able to move forward successfully. When the restaurants that have survived the pandemic have to close, it means that consumers have fewer options and our drivers have fewer opportunities to deliver.
Over 14 million Americans work in the restaurant and delivery industry. We urge Congress to do the right thing for our businesses and communities by continuing to fund this critical program. The platforms we represent help millions of people around the country earn income and have kept restaurants afloat for the past two years. We must provide restaurants with the support they need to expand, rehire, and partner with forward-looking delivery companies to expand their markets and grow their businesses.
As more than 150 House members outlined in a letter earlier this week, more than 300 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives have cosponsored legislation to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund with $60 billion in additional funding. We urge Congressional leaders to schedule a vote on this legislation and help our economy recover from the pandemic. Make the decision to save our businesses and communities and fund the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Kristin Sharp, CEO
Mayor Steve Benjamin, Chairman of the Board