House approves bill to fund $55 billion small business grant program

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On Friday, the US House of Representatives approved HR 3807, a bill that calls for $55 billion to supplement a small business grant program. The bill aims to supply America’s small businesses that have been most affected by the COVID pandemic.

The grant program was part of the American Rescue Plan. Of the $55 billion, $42 billion is earmarked for restaurants, food trucks, wineries, breweries and bakeries.

The remaining $13 billion would go to small businesses, including gyms, event venues, theaters, transportation companies and sports teams.

A portion of the $13 billion would be set aside for oversight of the grant program.

Homes OKs $55 Billion for Small Business Grant Program

Does the newest size have legs? Could be. It passed the House by 223 votes to 203, but has yet to pass the evenly divided Senate. The Senate has been suspended (from April 8) for 2 weeks.

In March, the restaurant aid funds were removed from Congress’ omnibus spending bill.

That same month, the Senate passed S2675 Continuing Emergency Support for Restaurants Act.

On April 8, the House approved HR3807, the $55 billion small business grant program. As proposed, it would be funded with unused funds from the 2020 and 2021 pandemic emergency response programs.

Two similar measures were introduced by the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2021. Both gasp.

In June 2021, a $60 billion restaurant replenishment bill was filed in the House. In July 2021, the $60 billion Entrée Act was passed in the Senate. Neither is over.

The latter measure was introduced by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore).

“It shouldn’t be that hard,” Blumenauer said. “The level of disagreement and controversy is indescribable, and I thought the restaurants were a way to bring us all together.”

What do you have to do to get in line if HR 3087 is passed by the Senate?

Blumenauer explained that companies that previously applied for the small business grant program do not need to reapply. The waiting list is long: there were about 300,000 applicants for the original program and only about 1/3 got a scholarship.

Part of the application’s rejection was due to confusion. During the first round of small business grants in the US bailout plan, women, minority and veteran companies were prioritized. However, after a series of discrimination lawsuits were filed, many applicants’ grant was withdrawn.

If your application was withdrawn, rejected, or you have never applied before, you would apply through an SBA approved lender. You must be able to document the dollar amount of your lost income.

For example, you compare the pre-pandemic yield with the yield during the pandemic and after the pandemic.

The Small Business Administration would oversee the grant program and manage the funds. Grant amounts can be as high as $10 million per company (or $5 million for each physical location).

According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, 90,000 restaurants have closed in the past 2 years and 80% are on the verge of closing.

CAN’T WAIT FOR THE CONGRESS? Here are more small business grant opportunities available now:

More in: Small Business Grants
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