Press Release

January 24, 2023
Cardin, Brown, Murray Reintroduce Bill to Provide Payroll Tax Relief to Businesses Shut Out of SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), today reintroduced The Restaurant Revitalization Tax Credit Act. Thislegislationcreates a special tax credit available to businesses that applied for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, but did not receive a grant because the program ran out of funding. Nearly 2 out of every 3 eligible RRF applicants, or approximately 175,000 businesses, were left unassisted.

“We have not forgotten about these restaurants. They have been hurting for too long,” said Senator Cardin. “The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was a timely program that simply did not have enough funds to cover the intense demand. I’ve heard from many restaurant owners who, having missed out on these funds, used their personal retirement savings or put their homes up as collateral to keep their businesses afloat. This tax credit will help ease their burden. It will support the restaurants we love while helping to boost our local economies.”

“Restaurants are anchors in so many communities – more than just a place to eat, they are destinations, engines for local economies and small businesses that employee our neighbors,” said Senator Brown. “I’m proud to reintroduce the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Tax Credit for the thousands of qualified restaurants that did not get the help they needed and are still working hard to stay afloat.”

“Restaurants are the heart and soul of communities throughout Washington state. As restaurants continue to deal with the fallout of the pandemic and ongoing challenges with supply chain disruptions and inflation, they need our help to keep their doors open and employees on payroll,” said Senator Murray. “While the American Rescue Plan saved thousands of restaurants, its Restaurant Revitalization Fund left too many behind. I believe we need to replenish the Fund and will keep pressing to do so. We are re-introducing the Restaurant Revitalization Tax Credit Act because we know it will help keep restaurants afloat until we are able to replenish the Fund. This tax credit would benefit every eligible restaurant that applied to the Fund, but never received a grant through no fault of their own. Washington state’s restaurants and small businesses deserve our ongoing support and I will continue fighting for them in the Senate.”

The bill establishes the Restaurant Revitalization Tax Credit, which would be available to eligible employers to offset payroll taxes of up to $25,000 per quarter in calendar year 2023. For businesses with 10 or fewer employees, the credit is refundable up to a total of $25,000 over the course of the year, with the cap on refundability gradually phased out for businesses with fewer than 20 employees. The credit is open only to those businesses that applied for and were eligible to receive RRF grants. They also must have experienced average operating losses of at least 30 percent in 2020 and 2021 as compared to 2019 or losses of at least 50 percent 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.

Click here to view a PDF of the bill text, and hereto view a bill summary.