Chef Advocacy Update: Letters to Congress

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A message from The James Beard Foundation:

Chefs,

If you follow these emails, you may have seen us highlight the work of our friends at the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC). The IRC recently sent a letter to leadership in both the U.S. House and Senate, calling for a restaurant stabilization fund.

According to the IRC, independent restaurants employ millions across the country, anchor neighborhoods and communities, and drive travel and tourism. Yet, with the COVID-19 pandemic, sales have plummeted by billions of dollars, four in ten restaurants have closed at least temporarily, and many restaurants are at risk of closing permanently.

The IRC is calling on Congress for a $120 billion Independent Restaurant Stabilization Fund to help restaurants re-open and stay open. IRC outlines that the fund should exclude publicly traded restaurants, exclude large chain restaurants or franchises, and prioritize underrepresented communities.

You can read the full letter here.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is calling for a similar fund. The two requests are generally aligned, but the IRC includes the guardrails as outlined above, to ensure that the fund prioritizes independent restaurants. These points are not included in the NRA calls. Read more about the NRA position here.

Top Reads

More Re-opening Resources
We’ve added to our collection of re-opening resources! First, if you haven’t already, please watch the recording of our recent webinar, “Building a Path to Re-opening” with Elizabeth Tilton of Oyster Sunday. From there, you can now download the Oyster Sunday Critical Path to Reopening spreadsheet, as well as the World Central Kitchen COVID-19 Health and Safety Guide with the WCK Masky Protocol poster.

Best,
Ashley Kosiak and the James Beard Foundation Impact Programs team

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