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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14)

WASHINGTON, DC– Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) announced that he has introduced the Supporting America’s Restaurant Workers Act, a bill designed to boost restaurant revenue and support restaurant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. A companion to legislation introduced in the Senate by Senator Tim Scott (SC), Joyce’s bill is endorsed by the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association and US Travel. 

“With Congress stalled on a COVID-19 relief deal, I’m proud to introduce this legislation to give a much-needed revenue boost to restaurants and support their workers during the pandemic,” said Joyce. “Close to half of our nation’s restaurants are independent ‘mom-and-pop’ operations that are struggling to keep their heads above water during these difficult times. My bill makes a simple, commonsense adjustment that would lead to more customers and increased revenue, giving these folks and the workers they employ a better chance to make it through this pandemic.” 

Specifically, the Supporting America’s Restaurant Workers Act would provide a 100% deduction for business meal expenses through the end of 2021. Currently, the deduction is available for only 50% of such expenses. 

Ohio’s restaurant industry employs 585,000 employees across 23,000 locations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Ohio restaurants were closed in mid-March and were not able to reopen with limited capacity until late May. The Ohio Restaurant Association reports that during this period, Ohio restaurants experienced sales losses ranging from -20% to more than -70%. The National Restaurant Association has stated that roughly 110,000 restaurants have already been forced to permanently close over the course of this year, and in a recent poll, 37% of restaurants stated it is unlikely they will be open six months from now if no additional assistance is provided.