Statement of Scott Wexler, Executive Director
Empire State Restaurant & Tavern Association

“Thanks to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, restaurants and taverns across New York have good reason to be hopeful now that a Federal grant program to help these small, independent businesses has been included in the new COVID relief bill. The restrictions on these businesses in order to stop the spread of COVD-19 have been a heavy burden to bear. Until now, these businesses were on their own – struggling with lost income and rising expenses – but this news means that help could soon be on the way for the businesses that anchor our communities. If passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law, this grant program will be the salvation of thousands of small businesses across New York State. Modeled on the RESTAURANTS Act, this program will provide essential grants to make up for income lost due to the pandemic. In addition to Leader Schumer, we’re appreciative of the other advocates for this program including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and most – although not all – of the members of the New York Congressional Delegation. We urge the swift enactment and implementation of this grant program in order to provide these businesses with the lifeline they need.”