Over 115 House Members Now Back Golden’s RESTART Act as Small Business Relief Bill Gains Momentum
WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden’s (ME-02) Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act, introduced in July with Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16), is continuing to build bipartisan momentum. Golden and Kelly have worked to add 117 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, including 32 Republican members of Congress. A companion bill in the Senate, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN), has 53 bipartisan cosponsors.
“I’m not the only member of Congress who’s hearing from small businesses back home that they need flexible, long-term COVID-19 relief to make it through this pandemic,” said Golden. “That’s why I’ve been working hard to broaden support for the RESTART Act and why we now have over 170 lawmakers from both parties behind RESTART. This is the momentum we need to help push this bill into the next COVID-19 relief package and to finally deliver the small business relief rural communities, workers, and their families are counting on.”
Golden introduced the RESTART Act following conversations with Maine small business owners in more than a dozen tele-town halls, many of which were focused on supporting Maine small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
The RESTART Act would address the concerns Golden heard from many small businesses that previous small business relief programs, while helpful for many, were too restrictive and a poor fit for some industries and business types. RESTART builds on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by providing more flexibility and longer terms for small business loan recipients.
Under the RESTART Act, a greater proportion of loans for small businesses could be spent on non-payroll expenses — like rent and utilities — while remaining forgivable. This lack of flexibility was a common concern Congressman Golden heard from Maine small businesses owners about the PPP.
Golden wrote to congressional leadership earlier this month, encouraging them to include the RESTART Act in any upcoming relief package. You can read more about that letter here, and you can read the original release here.
Important groups that advocate for small businesses, like HospitalityMaine, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, the National Restaurant Association, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), the RV Industry Association, the Snowsports Industries America (SIA), the Sport and Social Industry Association (SSIA), the American Sportfishing Association (ASA); and others.