In essence, the new/old piece of legislation described below (its original iteration first appeared in 2021), would establish a tax credit as compensation for restaurants that did not receive Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants. RFF grants were the most visible component of the federal Covid-19 relief program.

Interestingly, yesterday President Joe Biden announced a final extension of Covid-19 national and public health emergencies to May 11, after which the emergency responses will be wound down.

Our musical accompaniment to today’s news item is a Civil War song by Benedict E. Roefs, “Mother, Is the Battle Over?” I’m reminded that while our Civil War had an end date in terms of combat, the repercussions were felt for a century or more.

Thousands of restaurants missed out on Covid relief funds. A new bill would give them a lifeline, by Andy Medici (Louisville Business First)

Lawmakers are aiming to provide restaurants locked out of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund with a special tax credit.

Senators Ben Cardin, D-Md., chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business, Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Patty Murray, D-Wash., reintroduced the Restaurant Revitalization Tax Credit Act after first introducing it December of 2022 — late in the Senate calendar.

The legislation would create a special tax credit available to any business that applied for the RRF but did not get a grant — roughly 175,000 businesses.

The Restaurant Revitalization Tax Credit would allow employers to offset payroll taxes of up to $25,000 per quarter in calendar year 2023 depending on how many employees the business had — with larger businesses gradually seeing less and less.

Business must also have experienced average operating losses of at least 30% in 2020 and 2021 as compared to 2019 or losses of at least 50% in either calendar years 2020 or 2021 as compared to 2019. In addition, a business must have been in operation prior to March 14, 2020, and have paid payroll tax in at least two quarters in 2021.