Bennet, Young Announce Growing Support for RESTART Act in Next Coronavirus Relief Package

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced 23 new cosponsors have signed on to their Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act for a total of 33 cosponsors. Bennet and Young are working to ensure the RESTART Act is included in the next phase of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) relief to help provide a lifeline for the hardest-hit small- and mid-sized businesses.

“Since March, I have spoken to countless small- and mid-sized business owners across Colorado who are facing enormous revenue hits—upwards of 50%, 70%, and even 90%,” said Bennet. “That’s why we created the RESTART Act, which offers sustained support that includes flexible terms on a long-term loan with forgiveness based on how hard they’ve been hit. Momentum continues to build for our proposal as more of our colleagues hear from people in their states that we need to help the hardest-hit businesses weather the next year, not just the next two months.” 

“The Paycheck Protection Program was very successful, but we’re learning that many PPP-eligible small businesses, and other mid-sized businesses that have slipped through cracks, are still struggling to stay open and pay their employees. The RESTART Act would provide a low-interest, partially forgivable, long-term working capital loan to get them through one of the most disruptive economic periods in our history,” said Young

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was recently asked about the RESTART Act being included in the next phase of coronavirus relief. He said, “I think parts of it should be incorporated.” 

In addition to Bennet and Young, the RESTART Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

RESTART Trade Association Endorsements: American Gaming Association (AGA); American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA); American Pyrotechnics Association (APA); American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA); American Sportfishing Association (ASA); Broadway League; Coalition for Preserving American Furniture & Fabric Manufacturing; Economic Innovation Group (EIG); Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA); The GRAMMY Awards ®; Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC); Home Furnishings Association (HFA); International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA); International Franchise Association (IFA); International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA); International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA); Live Events Coalition; Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI); Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA); Minor League Baseball (MiLB); National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit); National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO); National Independent Talent Organization (NITO); National Independent Venue Association (NIVA); National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA); National Restaurant Association; Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA); Outdoor Industry Association (OIA); PLAY Sports Coalition; RV Industry Association; SESAC; Snowsports Industries America (SIA); Sport and Social Industry Association (SSIA); Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA); Vail Valley Partnership 

A full list of statements of support is available HERE. A full list of endorsements is available HERE.

A one-pager on the RESTART Act is available HERE.  

Small Business Data  

From the Census Small Business Pulse Survey,[1] updated for the week of 6/14 to 6/20:   

  • 83% of small businesses reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a large or moderate negative effect on business
  • 45% of small businesses reported a decrease in operating revenues/sales/receipts during the second week of June. 
  • 11% of small businesses reported a decrease in the number of paid employees during the first week of June.
  • Some businesses that have not reduced employees have still reduced employee hours: around 25% of small businesses reported a reduction in total number of hours worked by paid employees during the same timeframe. 
  • 75% of small businesses do not have enough cash on hand to cover more than two months of business operations, including financial assistance and loans. 
  • 75% of small businesses have requested financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) since March 13, 2020.
  • 40% of small businesses believe it will take more than six months for business to return to its normal level of operations relative to 2019. 

Real time economic data indicates a potential stall in small business recovery:[2]  

  • As of June 16, total small business revenue decreased by 16.7% relative to January 2020.
    • Revenue for businesses in high-income ZIP codes decreased by 23.7% compared to January 2020, while revenue for businesses in low-income ZIP codes decreased by 10.2 %.
  • The number of hours worked at small businesses has decreased by 28% since January 2020.
  • The number of small business locations open is down 22% since January 2020.
  • The number of employees working at small businesses is down 27% since January 2020.  

Hardest-Hit Industry Data  

Travel and Hospitality[3] 

  • 8 in 10 hotel rooms are empty across the United States.
  • The hotel industry is projected to suffer revenue losses of 57.5% in 2020
  • In April 2020, U.S. hotel operating profits fell by 117% compared to 2019.
  • In mid-June 2020, total rooms sold were half the amount of the total rooms sold last year.[4] 
  • With 70% of hotel employees laid off or furloughed, hotel workers are losing over $2.4 billion per week.
  • As of June 16, leisure and hospitality small business revenue has decreased by 40.6%  since January 2020.[5] 

Restaurants[6]

  • Between March and May 2020, restaurant sales fell nearly $27 billion from pre-coronavirus sales in January and February 2020.
  • April 2020 saw $29.3 billion in sales, the lowest sales level since February 1983
  • Between March and May 2020, total sales were down more than $94 billion from expected levels.
  • As of mid-June, 1 in 5 food and drink locations are closed relative to the beginning of March, and 30% fewer employees are working than were working prior to the pandemic.[7] 

Music Venues and Theaters[1]

  • 90% of independent concert venues expect to permanently close down in a few months if shutdowns persist and no federal funding becomes available
  • Independent venues are forecast to lose almost $9 billion in revenue if the rest of 2020 remains dark. 
  • 92% of small businesses in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry reported that the pandemic had a negative effect on their business. 
  • As of mid-June, 1 in 3 leisure and entertainment business locations are closed relative to pre-pandemic levels, and 1 in 3 employees in the industry are no longer working.[2] 

A PDF of the new data is available HERE