Preserving and Protecting Restaurants as an Important Piece of Culture
Food is essential to our everyday life. But it is also more than that. With so many varieties of dishes and cultures to explore, food is a gateway to understanding, connection, and enjoyment. When the COVID-19 pandemic pushed its’ way across the world, the food and restaurant industry was among those hardest hit. Many restaurants put serving enjoyment on hold as the nation grappled with the pandemic. Many restaurants struggled to make ends meet during the closures. And still, many more continue to struggle in the current market.
To combat this, the US government first passed the Restaurant Revitalization Fund hoping to curb the effects of the closures, loss of revenue, staff, and increasing market costs. But, according to the Independent Restaurants Coalition, 52% of restaurants that did not receive the RRF grant anticipate closing within six months. Despite re-opening, restaurants still need help.
While things are certainly looking up as the number of cases and hospitalizations ticks down, Barbara Castiglia, of Modern Restaurant Management, notes that there is more hope on the horizon with the recent House approval of the Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022.
“What it will do is provide $42 billion dollars to restaurants that did not get a piece of the pie the first couple go-arounds on the restaurant revitalization fund,” said Castiglia.
The pandemic-raised Independent Restaurant Coalition helped lobby for this Act and Castiglia stated that, “This is crucial for restaurants that have been struggling.”
With rising costs and staffing shortages, the restaurant industry still has much to face. “The next step is the Senate…This is a crucial point and help that is desperately needed,” emphasized Castiglia.
The Senate must help the industry continue to overcome this hardship and it’s important to share your voice with your Senators to let them know, Castiglia noted.
Food is more than essential. It’s a critical part of our culture. Castiglia hopes it stays that way.
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