August 10, 2022

Cortez Masto Calls on Administration to Release Unspent COVID Relief Funds to Restaurants

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led a group of over 70 senators and members of Congress in calling on the Small Business Administration (SBA) to release critical COVID relief funding to restaurants. In the American Rescue Plan, Congress established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to help restaurants that had lost revenue due to the pandemic, but a recent report showed that the available RRF funds have not been fully used. The letter calls on the SBA to prioritize the roughly 7,000 businesses that were approved for awards but did not receive them.

“Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled Restaurant Revitalization Fund: Opportunities Exist to Improve Oversight that stated that as of as of June 2022, $180 million of RRF funding was unobligated. As you know, about 177,000 restaurants that applied to the program did not receive awards,” wrote the senators. “While we understand the remainder of the funding will not reach every business that applied, it is imperative that the SBA distribute every dollar to help as many struggling restaurants as is feasible.”

The full text of the letter is available here.

Senator Cortez Masto is a staunch advocate for small businesses across the state. The Senator secured extensive funding to support Nevada small businesses in the American Rescue Plan. The SBA also heeded her call to extend the deferment period for repaying loans to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for a total of 30 months, protecting more than 42,1000 businesses and nonprofits across Nevada that benefitted from the program. Most recently, Senator Cortez Masto introduced the Small Business Wildfire Smoke Recovery Act to include wildfire smoke as eligible for disaster relief assistance for small businesses directly harmed by wildfire and the heavy smoke effecting their operations. The senator also recently testified about actions the SBA can take to prevent harmful practices in the franchise sector.