Restaurants were blessed to have money carved out just for the losses suffered by the industry in the American Rescue Plan. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund set aside $27 billion for an industry that lost $270 Billion. It was not enough, but it was something.

I talked to four restaurants that received that money. The joy that these beleaguered restaurant owners conveyed when they called me was contagious. One was so grateful that she broke down and cried. Receiving these funds did not make last year’s trials go away, but it gave hope for the future and an incentive to rebuild.

Congress wrote the legislation to give a 21-day priority to women, veterans, and minority-owned businesses and distribute all other funds on a first-come-first-serve basis. So, we pressed our New Mexico restaurants to be ready to get their applications in as soon as the fund opened on Monday morning, May 3rd, at 10:00 sharp.

However, because of a recent court case, the grant funds were ripped away from 3,000 restaurants that were notified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that they had received the money. The argument to the court was a reverse discrimination suit because minority groups got a preference in the granting of the funds. This is a travesty of justice: NOT the court’s decision, but the hope given to these restaurants and then the despair when they were told that they would not receive the money. On top of that, the final blow to these 3,000 struggling restaurants is that they will not be eligible to remain in line for the grant fund.

This situation alone should obligate Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The SBA received more than $50 billion in grant requests for the $28 billion fund. The industry has proved that there is a dire need for the Government to rescue these besieged restaurants. Congress should replenish this fund and give these restaurants hope for the future and an incentive to rebuild soon.

Please follow this link and tell Congress to Replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund today!