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Rice Leads Bipartisan Call for Increased Federal Funding to Support Long Island Restaurants

LongIsland.com

U.S. Representatives Meeks, Suozzi, and Garbarino joined Rice on letter to House and Senate leadership calling for the replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

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U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Tom Suozzi (NY-03), and Andrew Garbarino (NY-02) recently sent a letter to House and Senate leadership calling for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program to be replenished with enough funding for the first tranche of applicants.  
 
The $28.6 billion RRF program was created in the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319), which President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021. The program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses to compensate for pandemic-related revenue loss. However, since the program began accepting applications on May 3, 2021, more than 303,000 entities requested a total of more than $69 billion, far exceeding the initial amount allocated in the American Rescue Plan Act.  
 
“The pandemic’s devastating impact on the food industry can be seen across Long Island,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “And as the astronomical demand for the RRF program shows, it’s clear that the initial aid we allocated to help our struggling restaurants will be far from enough to support this critical sector of our economy. I thank Representatives Meeks, Suozzi and Garbarino for joining me in this bipartisan effort to provide our neighborhood restaurants with the resources they need to come back stronger than before.”  
 
The Association for a Better Long Island (ABLI) praised Rice and the members of the Long Island delegation for their letter. 
 
“ABLI commends Rep. Kathleen Rice and the Long Island delegation for prioritizing this issue that will provide direct assistance to an industry hit the hardest by the pandemic. Helping our small businesses recover from this pandemic is not a blue or red issue, it’s a United States issue. Our region’s bipartisan coalition makes this point crystal clear to Washington,” said Kyle Strober, Executive Director, Association for a Better Long Island. 
 
Full text of the letter can be found below and here.