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Volume XIII, Number 34

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Food & Beverage Policy in 2021 and What to Look for in 2022

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11th, 2021, was a $1.9 trillion piece of legislation that provided economic relief across a variety of sectors. Within the bill was the creation of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Administered by the Small Business Administration, the program was designed to keep restaurants open through the pandemic. The program provided funding for pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and up to $5 million per physical location. The funding for this program ran out in October 2021.

The American Rescue Plan also included $350 billion for state, local, and tribal governments to address the fiscal impacts of the pandemic. 25% of these funds were designed to be devoted for hospitality industry relief.

With less than 200 days until 2022 midterm elections, Congressional leaders are looking to provide another round of COVID relief for small businesses. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) have led the effort this time. The $48 billion package has a multitude of Democrat co-sponsors, but Wicker remains the only Republican co-sponsor. The bulk of the package, $40 billion, is designed to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) said in a statement that he “strongly support(s) this package.” The package has been a part of ongoing negotiations for the past few months and could likely see a vote in the near future.

However, another round of COVID relief comparable to the levels of the American Rescue Plan is unlikely in 2022. The White House has stated that there may be additional relief to restaurants and the hospitality industry, but cited economic growth as the reasoning behind not pursuing another major COVID relief package. After removing a new round of COVID relief as a part of the government funding negotiations for FY2022, Congress is now currently negotiating another round of COVID relief as an attachment to supplemental aid to Ukraine. 

© 2023 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 159
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About this Author

Jared Rifis Public Affairs Advisor Foley & Lardner
Public Affairs Advisor Sr

Jared Rifis is a senior public affairs advisor in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner LLP. He represents clients and their legislative priorities before Congress and the Administration. Jared supports the firm’s Government Solutions Practice with research, analysis, and advocacy that advance each client’s public policy goals.

Prior to joining Foley, Jared served in various roles in Congress, most recently serving as a judiciary and commerce advisor to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. He was an effective advisor with a broad...

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