Adams joins call for restaurant relief

28 mayors request Restaurant Revitalization Fund be replenished

Mayor Eric Adams (Getty, iStock/Photo illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Mayor Eric Adams (Getty, iStock/Photo illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Restaurants across the country are looking for seconds of federal funding, and Eric Adams wants them to get served.

The New York City mayor joined other mayors across the country in signing a letter to Congress, requesting that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund be replenished.

The $28.6 billion fund is a program under the American Rescue Plan Act that provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars and other qualifying businesses impacted by Covid-19. Under the program, restaurants can receive funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per location.

Over 100,000 restaurants and bars received protections through the fund, averaging about $272,000 each, but over 177,000 applicants were denied funding, according to the letter. The program closed in July after running out of money.

However, a recent study by the office of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that most of the funds that were allocated went to restaurants in wealthier neighborhoods. Of the nearly 5,500 awards to New York City eateries, just over a quarter went to businesses in low- and moderate-income communities.

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Over 90,000 restaurants have closed and the industry has lost over $280 billion during the pandemic, the letter states.

“Restaurants and bars are months beyond struggling, they are dying in plain sight,” it reads.

Lawmakers have introduced House and Senate bills to add $60 billion to the program.

Adams joins 27 other mayors in showing his support, including the leaders of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.

“We are extremely grateful for our mayor’s steadfast support for our city’s restaurant and nightlife industry,” the New York City Hospitality Alliance said in a statement.

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