News Releases

This week, Senator Murray voiced her support for two bipartisan bills, the RESTAURANTS Act and Save Our Stages Act, which would support independent restaurants and music venues that are struggling during the pandemic

Senator Murray has previously supported House Democrats’ HEROES 2.0 relief bill, which includes both of these pieces of legislation 

Senator Murray: “The Senate should move forward on these measures, as part of a comprehensive COVID relief bill, in order to alleviate the economic pain this crisis has inflicted upon Washingtonians”

(Washington, D.C.) – This week, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), signed on to the RESTAURANTS Act and Save Our Stages Act, two bipartisan pieces of legislation to provide independent restaurants and live music venues that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic with the resources they need to stay afloat.

“This pandemic has been devastating for so many small and independent businesses across Washington state, and restaurants and music venues are no exception,” Senator Murray said. “These bipartisan proposals would provide much-needed relief to struggling businesses, and the Senate should move forward on these measures, as part of a comprehensive COVID relief bill, in order to alleviate the economic pain this crisis has inflicted upon Washingtonians.”

The RESTAURANTS Act would establish a Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) at the Department of the Treasury with $120 billion in funding left over from the CARES Act, and provide independent Washington state restaurant owners with the financial support they need to rehire workers and deal with the long-term ramifications of COVID-19. Awards would be one-time grants valued to cover the difference between revenues from 2019 and projected revenues through 2020, with a maximum grant of $10 million. Restaurants would not need to pay back their grants and could use the funding for payroll, benefits, mortgages, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies, protective equipment, cleaning materials, food, and any other expenses deemed essential by the Treasury Department.

In order to support beloved music and entertainment venues in Washington state–from Neumos in Seattle to the Big Dipper in Spokane–and all across the country, the Save Our Stages Act would provide the Small Business Administration (SBA) with $10 billion for grants to independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. The bill would direct the SBA to make grants to eligible venues up to $12 million, and narrowly define independent live venue operators, promoters, and talent representatives to prevent large, international corporations from receiving federal grant funding. The bill would also permit recipients to use grants for costs incurred during the COVID pandemic including rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.

Senator Murray has previously supported the House-passed HEROES Act 2.0, which includes the targeted small business relief measures that make up both of these pieces of legislation.

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