Small Business Relief Fund Is Running Dry

Many candidates to the federal government’s pandemic reduction program for eating places, bars, caterers and different meals companies shall be left empty-handed except Congress offers extra money for the $28.6 billion grant program, the pinnacle of the Small Business Administration stated on Wednesday.

The company’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund obtained greater than 372,000 functions, searching for $76 billion — way over the fund has obtainable, the administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, stated at a House Small Business Committee oversight listening to.

“There will be significant demand unmet at the close of this program,” Ms. Guzman stated. The company stopped accepting functions for the grants on Monday.

Congress created the restaurant fund in March and ordered the company to prioritize functions from ladies and veterans, in addition to minority enterprise house owners who meet sure earnings and asset limits. More than 208,000 functions met these necessities and shall be funded first, Ms. Guzman stated.

“I’m proud of how we’ve rolled out this program in under two months,” Ms. Guzman stated.

Representative Jim Hagedorn, Republican of Minnesota, criticized the prioritization system as discriminatory. Those who received’t make the funding cutoff “happen to be, let’s just be honest with it, white men that own bars and restaurants.”

Representative Angie Craig, Democrat of Minnesota, stated she was “disappointed” many eating places can be shut out, and inspired her colleagues to increase this system’s funding. “Our government asked them to shut down during a public health crisis,” she stated. “We need to work together to uphold our ongoing commitment and replenish this fund.”

A second grant program run by the Small Business Administration — the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, for live-event companies like music golf equipment and theaters — seems to have sufficient funding for all certified candidates. The $16 billion program, which continues to be accepting functions, has to date obtained 13,000 functions, totaling round $11 billion, Ms. Guzman stated.

But the venue grant program, created almost 5 months in the past, has moved way more slowly than the restaurant fund, which has already despatched checks to its earliest recipients. Award letters will lastly begin going out this week, Ms. Guzman stated.

The National Independent Venue Association stated none of its members had but obtained a call on their functions. “The emergency relief can’t come soon enough and we’ll be incredibly grateful when it starts flowing,” stated Audrey Fix Schaefer, a spokeswoman for the commerce group.