Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Colony on Monday to announce he was prioritizing restaurants in a new COVID-19 relief bill.
The New York Democrat was at TORO Cantina, a Mexican restaurant forced by the pandemic to close six hours after the inauguration last March, the same day the state shutdown went into effect.
Schumer says the bipartisan restaurant law, included in the upcoming COVID relief bill, would inject $ 25 billion into restaurants across the country.
“Employment in restaurants in the Capital Region declined by 50 percent during the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the Glens Falls metro area had the 15th highest restaurant density in the country. This is important. And some restaurants have about 80 percent of their income. How do they survive? How do they pay the rent? How do they pay the insurance? How do they pay the mortgage? restaurants want to keep their employees. A restaurant is an organic place. The chef, the sous chef, the waiters, the people who help clean … it’s a whole, and you want to keep your employees. “with your employees. You don’t want to fire them. But if you don’t. You don’t have the money, what are you going to do? This bill will help solve these problems.”
Chef Jaime Ortiz owns TORO Cantina:
“We are one of a number of restaurants that have opened their doors outside of the timeline that would qualify them for P3 loans. This particular restaurant therefore does not have an employment history dating back to 2019. Therefore, it was not eligible for the PDP. ready. And I know of several other restaurants that are in the same situation. So it would be a great welcome relief for restaurants in this situation.
Schumer notes that 54% of New York City restaurants say they won’t survive the next 6 months without more federal help. He adds that New York has lost nearly 4,000 restaurants since the start of the pandemic.
“The maximum subsidies would be $ 5 million per individual restaurant, the money would go until December 31 of this year. And by then, we hope COVID will be pretty much over us by then. New Yorkers should have been vaccinated. And restaurants may be fine on their own. Otherwise, we’ll renew it. And if we run out of money sooner, we’ll renew it. And it won’t be that hard to renew. Because. that it is bipartisan. This is one of the few things in this bill, that is, bipartite, I wish there were more. It is $ 10 million per group of restaurateurs. In other words, we don’t want Olive Garden or Red Lobster, gobbling up all the money, you know, that has Thousands of restaurants, they can afford it. what they can get. You can only have 20 restaurants in your group 20 locations, and only 10 million dollars rs per group. $ 5 million if it’s an individual restaurant, okay.
Schumer says $ 5 billion is set aside for small, family-friendly and pop-up restaurants. Grants can be used for payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, utilities, and other miscellaneous business expenses.