Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Katherine Clark, who represents Massachusetts' Fifth Congressional District, voted Thursday to pass the Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022, which would provide an additional $42 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

The bill would also provide $13 billion to establish a Hard Hit Industry Award Program to provide awards to small businesses across all industries and sectors that were hardest hit by the pandemic but were not eligible for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund or Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program. Businesses that engage in wage theft will be barred from receiving money through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

"Our favorite restaurants and venues are gathering places for our communities and bring families together, but they've been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic," said Clark in a statement. "Today, House Democrats voted to make sure that the small business owners who were still in line for federal support when the Restaurant Revitalization Fund ran out won't be left holding the bag. Ensuring that restaurants and venues can afford to keep their doors open won't just enrich our communities – it will also save and create jobs across industries. Democrats are once again fighting to support workers, save small businesses, and help families on their path to recovery from the pandemic's economic fallout."

Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Original story HERE