What the $900 Billion Stimulus Bill Means for the Food, Beverage and Hospitality Industry
Posted in Legal Bites
What the $900 Billion Stimulus Bill Means for the Food, Beverage and Hospitality Industry

On December 21, 2020, Congress agreed to a $900 billion stimulus bill, passed as The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“the Act”). The 5,593-page Act includes funds designated for direct relief, additional money for forgivable Paycheck Protection Loans and tax relief measures, but does not include funding specifically for restaurants or hotels.

  • Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Loans: The Act sets aside $300 billion in additional Paycheck Protection Loans. Of that, $15 billion is earmarked for live entertainment venues and $20 billion is set aside for businesses in low-income communities. Businesses with fewer than 300 employees are eligible for a maximum of $2 million in loans.
  • No RESTAURANTS Act Funding: The $900 billion stimulus does not include targeted funding for independent restaurants, despite broad support for the RESTAURANTS Act. The Independent Restaurant Coalition stated, “This bill falls woefully short of giving 11 million independent restaurant workers the job security they need before the holidays.”  The House had previously included the RESTAURANTS Act, which provided for $120 billion in forgivable grant funding for restaurants, in its version of the bill.
  • Full Deduction for Business Meals: The Act provides for temporary IRS full deductions for business meals provided at a restaurant. The full deduction will apply to expenses incurred after December 31, 2020. 
  • USDA Funding: The Act provides $11,187,500,000 for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to distribute to “agricultural producers, growers, and processors impacted by coronavirus, including producers and growers of specialty crops, non-specialty crops, dairy, livestock, and poultry, producers that supply local food systems, including farmers markets, restaurants, and schools, and growers who produce livestock or poultry under a contract for another entity.” The Act lays out specific amounts to be paid for farmers, cattle producers and poultry producers, based on payments per acre and payments for depopulation measures. It also requires that the Secretary of Agriculture use at least $20 million of the stimulus funds to “improve and maintain animal disease prevention and response capacity.”
  • Direct Stimulus: The Act provides a $600 direct payment to individuals making less than $75,000 a year, or couples making less than $150,000. Individuals making $100,000 or more will not receive a stimulus check.
  • Residential Eviction Moratorium: The Act extends the residential eviction moratorium through January.
Tags: COVID-19
  • Pooja S. Nair
    Partner

    Pooja S. Nair is a business litigator and problem solver with a focus on the food and beverage sector. She advises food and beverage clients, startups and other businesses on a comprehensive range of issues, including employment ...

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