Small and independent restaurants in the US face a challenging journey, even if Congress approves additional financial aid during the year Coronavirus Pandemic, restaurateurs and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson said CNBC on Tuesday.
Samuelsson, co-founder of red rooster in New York’s Harlem borough explicitly referred to the so-called RESTAURANTS Act by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. The legislation would Provide US $ 120 billion The target audience is independent restaurants in the US that offer grants for payroll and other operating expenses.
Samuelsson, born in Ethiopia and later adopted by a Swedish family, was that Guest chef for the Obama administration’s first state dinner. Also known as Judge on “Chopped” by Food Network He’s behind several other restaurants alongside the Red Rooster in Harlem.
“If we don’t get that bill, I don’t know what will happen to independent restaurants and our neighborhoods and our communities will look very, very different,” said Samuelsson “Squawk Box.” “Even so, rebuilding the restaurant industry will be an incredible job.”
The $ 120 billion aid bill was passed under the law last Thursday larger $ 2.2 trillion Coronavirus Stimuli Legislation. The Democratic-led bill is not expected to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate.
It’s unclear whether the so-called RESTAURANTS bill – or something similar specifically aimed at small restaurants – would lead to a bipartisan deal that Pelosi and Mnuchin, who lead talks for the Trump administration, reach. However, a second round of the paycheck protection program is believed to be an important pillar of future coronavirus legislation.
“It’s not so much about getting this bill passed on ‘We want another loan’. We just want to go back to work. That’s all we want to do,” said Samuelsson.
People wear face masks outside Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem as the city resumes Phase 4 of its reopening after restrictions were placed in New York City on August 25, 2020 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
Samuelsson recognized the difficulties on the horizon and said they would be magnified without targeted government relief.
“It’s the most important thing that can happen for us as communities, as restaurant workers. It has to pass,” he said, noting that between 11 and 16 million people work in independent restaurants. “This is the difference between 70% or 80% of those 16 million people going out of work or 60%, 70% being able to postpone.”
Have restaurants faced great challenges initially struggling with forced closings during the pandemic to slow down the transmission of the coronavirus. However, since reopening, restaurants have had to work with tables outside and less capacity inside, adding to operational challenges in an already existing setting low margin industry.
Samuelsson said he felt it was important to distinguish between chain restaurants with access to capital markets and hundreds of thousands of small restaurants in the country.
“Our worlds look very different from the big box restaurant. They really do,” he said. “When you think of neighborhoods, when you think of the heart and soul of not just New York City and San Francisco, places like that, but American cities as well, an independent restaurant is the heart and soul of those neighborhoods.”