Congresswoman Plaskett, a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement regarding the Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022 (H.R. 3807):
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of nation and territory's economy and are helping power our historic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the American Rescue Plan, my Democratic colleagues and I created the Restaurant Revitalization Fund: a true lifeline for Virgin Islands businesses to help them reopen, recover, and rehire. Yesterday, the House passed legislation that will build on that success: enabling restaurants that weren't able to take advantage of this program the first time to access essential relief in the wake of the omicron wave. This bill will also establish a new program to support the VI's hardest-hit small businesses -- delivering assistance to businesses that have suffered revenue losses of at least 40 percent during the pandemic. I and my team will continue fighting to help Virgin Islands entrepreneurs keep their employees on payroll and continue serving our communities.
"28 restaurants in our territory received almost $6 million dollars from the first round of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) in 2021. There were numerous small businesses who, although they submitted their applications for consideration before the deadline, were unable to access the support because the previous funding ran out. The Relief for Restaurants & Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act will provide $42 billion to replenish the RRF so that these restaurants can apply for this assistance.
"The bill also provides $13 billion to establish a Hard-Hit Industries Award Program to provide awards to small businesses across all industries and sectors that were hardest hit by the pandemic regardless of industry or business sector."