July 8 – American Express, Coca-Cola, Sysco, US Foods, Other Corporations Endorse $120 Billion Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2020
American Express, Coca-Cola, Sysco, US Foods, Other Corporations Endorse $120 Billion Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Companies Praise Sens. Wicker and Sinema’s RESTAURANTS Act, Write “Every One of Our Businesses Would Be Impacted” Without Independent Restaurants
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, seven major corporations announced their support for the RESTAURANTS Act, a bill introduced in June by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that would establish a $120 billion Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The businesses emphasized the outsized role independent restaurants play in the broader economy, noting the key role they will play in returning the economy to pre-COVID levels.
Organized by the recently-formed Independent Restaurant Coalition, signers spanned across several industries directly tied to restaurants, including accommodations, air travel, and financial services. The signers include:
- American Express
- The Coca-Cola Company
- Delta Air Lines
- Hyatt Hotels
- US Foods
The group writes, “For the sake of our communities and the millions of Americans that the 500,000 small, independent restaurants employ, Congress must pass The RESTAURANTS Act of 2020 in the coming weeks. We wholeheartedly endorse this critical legislation.” The full letter is available below.
“This pandemic isn’t just devastating restaurants– it’s creating irreparable harm to millions of farmers, fishermen, and other businesses up and down the supply chains,” said the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “The companies writing Congress today understand the vital role independent restaurants play supporting industries big and small across the economy, and the recent re-closings of restaurants in Miami, Texas, New York, California, and elsewhere only emphasize the need for urgent action from Congress.”
The RESTAURANTS Act was introduced on June 18 by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3), and proposes a $120 billion Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund for small food and beverage establishments facing devastating financial setbacks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The RESTAURANTS Act has bipartisan support within each chamber, with Sens. Doug Jones (D-AL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) joining the Senate bill. As of today, the House proposal has 57 co-sponsors.
The revitalization fund has been a long sought-after goal for the IRC – the Coalition wrote a letter to Congress on April 29 outlining their request for a bill. Weeks later, at a restaurant industry roundtable at the White House, the IRC took their proposal directly to the president. The IRC has consistently argued that the fund would be pivotal to guaranteeing that the restaurants now reopening will be able to stay open.
The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed by chefs and independent restaurant owners across the country who have built a grassroots movement to secure vital protections for the nation’s 500,000 independent restaurants and the more than 11 million restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Coalition’s leadership team includes Tyler Akin, José Andrés, Kevin Boehm, Sean Brock, Katie Button, Andrew Carmellini, Ashley Christensen, Jeanie Chunn, Amanda Cohen, Tom Colicchio, Nina Compton, Rosa Garcia, Suzanne Goin, Gregory Gourdet, Will Guidara, Mason Hereford, Sam Kass, Max Katzenberg, Mike Lata, Camilla Marcus, Ivy Mix, Kwame Onwuachi, Patrick Phelan, Erika Polmar, Naomi Pomeroy, Steven Satterfield, Michael Shemtov, Nancy Silverton, Frank Stitt, Bobby Stuckey, Robert St. John, Caroline Styne, Jill Tyler, and Andrew Zimmern.
Dear Chairman Wicker and Senator Sinema,
As we continue to work toward solutions to restart the American economic engine and put millions of Americans back to work, we write to thank you for your leadership and to endorse your bi-partisan legislation, the RESTAURANTS Act of 2020 (S. 4012). This important legislation will immediately infuse desperately needed capital into local economies and will help small independent restaurants and the broader restaurant community rebuild after months of closure and what will be months of reduced revenue as a result of social distancing.
The undersigned have long understood the value that restaurants bring to every community in our country. Restaurants are a large part of the engine that helps Main Street thrive. Getting this industry back on its feet goes well beyond the 11 million people that independent restaurants typically employ. Without restaurants, every one of our businesses would be impacted and the economic framework of cities and towns across all parts of the United States would be dramatically altered for the worse.
In normal times, restaurants serve as the foundation and cornerstone of so many of our towns and communities. Today, they are the number one industry in terms of job loss. Many independent restaurants are not expected to survive without real assistance. For the sake of our communities and the millions of Americans that the 500,000 small, independent restaurants employ, Congress must pass The RESTAURANTS Act of 2020 in the coming weeks. We wholeheartedly endorse this critical legislation.
Thank you for your leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with you to ensure that the restaurant industry, and overall economy, can and will recover from this pandemic.