U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez signed on to a bill providing $120 billion in federal aid to restaurants, bars and caterers impacted by the pandemic.
“New Jersey’s normally bustling restaurant and hospitality industry helps drive the economy in our local communities,” Menendez said. “The Restaurants Act will help give them the financial relief many need to stay open, keep people employed and drive our economic recovery.”
The bill, which has the backing of the National Restaurant Association and the Independent Restaurant Coalition, would provide such businesses with grants to cover worker salaries and benefits as well as expenses like rent, mortgage payments and maintenance costs.
Awards would be based on revenue losses between 2019 and 2020.
“The social distancing and stay-at-home orders necessary to contain the spread of the virus helped flatten the curve and prevent our health system from being overrun, but the economic fallout has caused enormous pain all around,” Menendez said. “Many local restaurants, bars and catering halls have been forced to close. Workers have been laid off or furloughed. Even those establishments that were able to quickly shift to delivery, take-out or outdoor dining, are still in the red.”