Press Release

Cuellar Votes for New Relief Funding for Texas’s Restaurants and Small Businesses

Washington | Dana Youngentob, DC Press Secretary (202-340-9148) | Jose Sanz, District Press Secretary (956)-725-0639, April 7, 2022

Washington, DC—Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) voted to secure urgently needed relief for small businesses across Texas.  The Relief for Restaurants & Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act will deliver $55 billion to replenish funding for Texas restaurants and establish a new program supporting other small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Texas economy and are helping power our historic recovery,” said Congressman Cuellar.  “In our American Rescue Plan, Democrats created the Restaurant Revitalization Fund: a lifeline for Texas businesses to help them reopen, recover and rehire.  Today, I proudly voted for legislation that will build on that success: enabling restaurants that weren’t able to take advantage of this program the first time to access essential relief in the wake of the omicron wave.  This bill will also establish a new program to support Texas’s hardest-hit small businesses – delivering assistance to businesses that have suffered revenue losses of at least 40 percent during the pandemic. I will continue fighting to help entrepreneurs keep Texans on payroll and continue serving our communities.”

Established through Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) distributed $28.6 billion to restaurants across the country – including $1,674,864,564 for 6,406 Texas businesses.  Due to its popularity, the program quickly exhausted its funding before more than 170,000 eligible businesses could access relief.  The Relief for Restaurants & Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act will provide $42 billion to replenish the RRF so that these restaurants can apply for this assistance.

This legislation also takes action to support other struggling small businesses:

  • Providing $13 billion to establish the Hard Hit Industries Award Program, which will assist Texas small businesses with 200 or fewer employees that have experienced 40 percent or more in lost revenue.
  • Updating the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to provide Texas entertainment venues with more time and flexibility to use federal relief funds.

The bill now heads to the Senate for final passage.