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BPAA Federal Policy Update - April 30, 2021

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SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund 

  • BPAA Restaurant Grants Guidance – Here’s How Proprietors Can Prepare:  
    • Register Now: Registration for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) began today, Friday, April 30 at 9 a.m. EDT (register here)
    • Apply Starting Monday: SBA will begin accepting applications via the application portal on Monday, May 3 at 12 p.m. EDT (portal here). The application portal will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted. For more information, read the press release here
    • Prepare: In preparation, SBA recommends that you familiarize yourself with the aspects of the application process, especially the relevant paperwork you need to apply. Review the sample applicationupdated program guide and cross-program eligibility chart on SBA COVID-19 relief options.  
    • BPAA SBA Webinar: This week, BPAA hosted a webinar with SBA to help proprietors learn about how to apply for the RRF and important details about the program. Click here to watch a recording of the BPAA webinar with SBA. We encourage you to watch the full recording, including the Q&A at the end.  
    • Here are some key details and resources to use when applying for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund: 
      • Guidance: SBA’s newly published guidance can be found at the SBA's webpage here. You can register on this page too. 
      • Applying: To apply for a grant, you will submit an application online through the SBA’s RRF portal, which goes live on Monday, May 3 at 12pm ET. Be ready to submit your application and file the necessary documents at this time.  
      • Priority Period: When the portal opens, a priority period will be put in place for the first 21 days for small businesses owned (at least 51%) by women, veterans, or the social and economically disadvantaged. Even if your business does not meet these descriptions, still apply immediately during this initial phase. Your application will be put in a queue for when the priority period ends.   
      • Bowling Proprietors: When filing for an RRF grant, bowling proprietors can apply as a “Restaurant” and/or “Bar,” if those two options best fit your business model. 
        • For eligibility purposes as a restaurant or bar, it will be presumed by SBA that your business had at least 33% of gross receipts in on-site sales of food and beverage to the public in 2019 -or- if your business opened in 2020, it must have contemplated 33%. You will not need to file documentation on those gross receipts like other entities specifically mentioned in the guidance (bakeries, breweries, inns, etc.).  However, note that if you apply for a grant, your application must adhere to the 33% requirement in good faith.  

 

Labor & Minimum Wage Updates 

  • Biden calls for passage of PRO Act, $15 minimum wage in joint address President Biden on Wednesday called for the passage of the PRO Act and for a $15 federal minimum wage during his first address before a joint session of Congress. The PRO Act, a sweeping pro-union bill, passed the House in March. The legislation, which is the top priority of labor unions, remains stalled in the Senate. "The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America, that’s what it says. And, it recognizes something I’ve always said. The guys and women on Wall Street, Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions build the middle class," Biden said. Read more at the Hill.  
  • Unions warn Senate Democrats: Pass the PRO Act, or else Union leaders told the Senate Democrats' campaign arm in a private call Wednesday not to expect them to back lawmakers in upcoming elections unless they coalesce behind the pro-labor Protecting the Right to Organize Act, three sources told POLITICO. 
    • One lawmaker, in particular, became the center of attention, two sources said: Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), one of only three senators in the majority who have yet to sign onto the PRO Act and who is expected to face a tough reelection battle next year. 
    • Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema and Virginia’s Mark Warner have also not backed the measure. The package thus far has 47 Senate cosponsors — 45 Democrats, two independents — leaving it well short of the 60 “yes” votes needed to overcome the filibuster. But unions see it as a litmus test. Read more here at Politico. 
    • To read a summary of provisions for the PRO Act, follow the link here
  • Biden to unveil sprawling $1.8T plan to boost child care, families President Joe Biden on Wednesday will roll out a sweeping, $1.8 trillion plan to invest in social welfare and family assistance programs aimed at redistributing the nation's wealth and lifting millions of Americans out of poverty. 
    • The sprawling “American Families Plan," laid out by senior administration officials on Tuesday night, would invest $200 billion in universal prekindergarten and more than $100 billion in free community college. It would extend the expanded child tax credit through 2025 and ensure that the benefit is more accessible to low-income families by making it permanently refundable. And it would set aside $225 billion to create the country’s first national paid family and medical leave program. 
    • Tax Hikes: Biden is proposing to pay for his plan over 15 years through a bevy of tax hikes targeting the wealthiest families, which would cover the costs in combination with revenue from the corporate tax hikes he unveiled alongside his jobs plan. Sticking to a campaign pledge, his plan would not raise taxes on individuals making less than $400,000 per year — instead raising the top marginal tax rate to 39.6 percent, where it stood before Republicans’ 2017 tax cuts. For all households making more than $1 million, the administration would tax capital gains as ordinary income at a rate of 39.6 percent, up from the current rate of almost 24 percent. Read more at Politico.  

 

Tax Updates 

  • Biden’s tax hikes are about to collide with reality President Joe Biden will propose another slate of tax increases Wednesday night, on top of a previous round of tax hikes targeting corporations, that he wants to use to defray the cost of two big spending packages. But raising taxes is hard — for all the loose talk about money-hungry politicians, tax hikes are actually somewhat rare in Washington. And Democrats will be contending with tiny majorities in both the House and Senate. Biden’s proposals will only be the starting point in negotiations and lawmakers will have their own ideas. Here’s a look at eight of Biden’s proposed tax increases, ranked from most likely to happen to least likely: 
    • Pinching business losses The most likely tax increase on this list is actually something Republicans came up with. As part of their 2017 tax overhaul, they created a new rule barring owners of privately held companies from using more than $500,000 in business losses to offset other types of income, such as a spouse’s salary or investment earnings when they do their taxes. 
    • Higher corporate rate At this point, it would be shocking if Democrats don’t increase the corporate tax rate. They’ve complained too much that the current 21 percent rate is too low to back off now, and they can raise a lot of money in a hurry by pushing it back up. Every percentage point increase raises roughly $100 billion. 
      • Even moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are in favor of some increase. Democrats aren’t going to go back to the old 35 percent rate that prevailed before the 2017 tax cuts, and Biden’s proposed 28 percent rate is a stretch. What's more likely is that lawmakers settle for something around 25 percent, which, when combined with state corporate levies, would still leave the U.S. with one of the higher rates among developed countries. 
      • Read more at Politico.  
         
  • GOP lawmakers float a corporate tax increase below Biden's proposed 28% at bipartisan infrastructure meeting For the second time since unveiling his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to discuss his proposals. One of the main discussion topics: the corporate tax increase. 
    • Ten lawmakers, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, met with Biden in the Oval Office to hash out the scope and size of the president's proposal. One of the main elements of Biden's plan that Republican lawmakers opposed was raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% to fund infrastructure, but Biden expressed willingness to negotiate on the increase to get the GOP on board. 
    • "I am prepared to compromise, prepared to see what we can do and what we can get together on," Biden said at the meeting. "It's a big package, but there are a lot of needs." 
    • Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida also attended the meeting and told The Wall Street Journal that lawmakers discussed "compromise wiggle room," on raising the corporate tax rate. He said that with regards to the percentage rate, one "could see a 2 or 3% increase — maybe not all the way to 28 but 25." Read more at Business Insider. 
       
  • West Virginia Unions Pressure Manchin To Back Biden On Infrastructure Plan If President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan is going to become a reality, it will very likely need the vote of every Democrat in the evenly divided Senate. That simple fact puts a bright spotlight on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who represents a deep-red Republican state — a place that Donald Trump carried in the past two elections by some 40 percentage points. 
    • Manchin's position means he will have a lot of say on whether the package includes everything the Biden administration wants, and on how to pay for it 
    • And soon after it was outlined, Manchin voiced some immediate concerns. He said raising the corporate tax rate from its current 21% up to 28% to help pay for the proposal was too much of an increase. He suggested a smaller hike, up to 25%. Read more at NPR.  

 

Political Updates 

  • Senate - Pennsylvania: Chrissy Houlahan ‘Still Very Very Serious’ About Potential Senate Bid Rep. Chrisy Houlahan (D-06) said Wednesday that she is still considering a bid for retiring Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R) seat. She argued that Democrats’ “best chance in the … race is ‘most likely a person more like me than some other candidates’ politically.”  
    • HOULAHAN SAYS: “I’m still very very serious about that opportunity and I'm making sure that I leave that opportunity as something that is possible.” Reporting here Philadelphia Inquirer
  • House - Florida 10: Demings’ Statewide Ambitions Shuffle Down ballot Plans State Sen. Randolph Bracy (D) “will likely run to replace” Rep. Val Demings (D) if she decides to run for higher office. “Demings is seriously considering challenging” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R).  
    • Bracy had considered running for governor, but if Demings runs, his path would be much more complicated. Read more at Orlando Sentinel. 
  • House - Texas 06: Trump to Campaign for Susan Wright President Trump will appear at a virtual town hall hosted by the Club for Growth for state legislative aide Susan Wright (R), who is running in the crowded special election. Read more at the Texas Tribune
  • House - Nevada-04: 2020 candidate Sam Peters (R) “will once again seek the Republican nomination” against Rep. Steven Horsford (D). “Peters finished second in the 2020 primary” to eventual nominee Jim Marchant (R), 35%-28%. (Las Vegas Review-Journal
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