Legislation calls for federal grants to support businesses devastated by pandemic


America’s Recovery Fund Coalition (ARFC) applauds the effort by Representatives Filemon Vela (D-TX-34) and Lance Gooden (R-TX-05) to establish a fund that would provide stability to American businesses as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We wholeheartedly endorse and support the legislation introduced by Representatives Vela and Gooden to establish the Small Business Recovery Fund,” said Trevor Hanger, research director for ARFC. “In this bill, we finally have a vehicle to cultivate a sustainable economic recovery. By prioritizing the hardest-hit businesses and with greater flexibility in how the money can be used, the Recovery Fund will help fill the gaps left by earlier programs and give business owners the immediate relief and certainty needed to keep their doors open.

“As repeated shutdowns and rollbacks of reopening plans continue to disrupt the economy, this legislation will provide the stability that Main Streets across America so desperately need. We thank Representatives Vela and Gooden and call on Congress to pass the Small Business Comeback Act now. The longer we wait, the more costly – and perilous – inaction becomes.”

Through a direct grant program with strong oversight and anti-corruption guardrails, the Small Business Comeback Act would allow businesses to retain and rehire employees, continue to provide benefits including health care, pay rent, local, and state taxes, and meet certain debt obligations. This will allow businesses to weather the pandemic, keep American workers employed, and preserve the health and livelihoods of communities across the United States, regardless of business structure or employment type.


Recovery Fund 101

The Small Business Recovery Fund would provide federal grants for operational expenses to help businesses reopen and stay open as they navigate a new normal. The fund will include anti-abuse mechanisms and strict federal oversight.

1. Businesses apply for a grant online through an easy-to-access form, entering data on operating costs and revenue from March 1 to application date.

2. The decision is nearly instant and distributed quickly, helping businesses recoup lost revenue due to social distancing and forced shutdowns.

3. Funds would help cover essential operating expenses including rent, utilities, payroll, and state and local taxes to give businesses financial certainty and confidence to reopen.