On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve small business relief bill that will send funds to local businesses on the Central Coast.
The Relief for Restaurants & Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act was co-sponsored by Congressman Salud Carbajal. The newly approved legislation will send $55 billion to replenish a current aid program and create a new program that would support other small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Carbajal helped create the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a program established through the American Rescue Plan. In 2021, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund distributed $5 billion to restaurants across California. $97 million of those funds went to over 400 restaurants in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, a spokesperson for Carbajal said.
The program ran out of funding before it could get aid to the total 170,000 eligible businesses. With the passing of the newest bill, $42 billion will be allotted to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund so eligible restaurants can apply for the assistance.
Also included in the bill is $13 billion of funding to create the Hard Hit Industries Award Program, which will offer aid to California businesses with 200 or fewer employees that have lost 40 percent or more in revenue through the pandemic. It will also update the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to give entertainment venues more time to use federal relief funds.