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Grants for restaurants, small businesses blocked in Senate

Lindsey McPherson, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Business News

Wicker has long described providing that money for the so-called Restaurant Revitalization Fund as a matter of “fairness,” because it would not reopen the grant program to new applicants but rather provide awards to the roughly two-thirds of businesses who qualified for the initial round but didn’t receive money before the $28.6 billion appropriated ran out.

In an effort to learn from past mistakes, the Cardin-Wicker bill called for the Small Business Administration to prorate grants, if needed, to ensure every qualified applicant received some funds.

The other $8 billion would have been used for smaller grant programs for other industries that were excluded from previous relief laws:

— $2 billion to gyms and fitness centers.

— $2 billion for live event servicers, such as companies that provide staging, lighting, sound and casts for theaters.

— $2 billion for transportation service providers, such as buses and ferries.

 

— $1.4 billion for very small businesses located within 50 miles of land ports of entry that were closed due to the pandemic, with at least one-third set aside for firms located near the Mexican border and another one-third for businesses close to the Canadian border.

— $500 million for minor league sports teams.

— $85 million for small businesses in Alaska, Washington and Minnesota that are geographically separated from the rest of the U.S. and weren’t accessible due to pandemic-related Canadian border closures.

Cardin and Wicker formally introduced their bill last month, the same week the House passed its own $55 billion small-business aid package.

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