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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson March 17, 2021

American Rescue Plan includes aid for small businesses, including restaurants

During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden promised additional federal aid to small businesses suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. That became a reality with passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March.

The bill included the following provisions:

  • An additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to small businesses to remain operational, with the possibility of loan forgiveness. The bill also expanded eligibility to additional nonprofits and digital news services.
  • An additional $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which focuses on live music and theater. The law allows businesses to apply for both a Paycheck Protection Program loan and a Shuttered Venue Operators grant.
  • An additional $15 billion for Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance payments, which are another category of loan for small businesses.
  • A new $28.6 billion program for bars and restaurants called the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The program will provide up to $5 million for restaurants and $10 million for restaurant groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called this provision "one of the most significant" developments in the bill.
  • An allocation of $100 million to fund a "navigator" pilot program designed to help eligible businesses apply for pandemic assistance.  

All told, the bill Biden signed provides an additional $50 billion in funding for small businesses. We rate it a Promise Kept.

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