Grijalva champions relief funding for restaurants, small business

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva voted April 7 to secure urgently needed relief for small businesses across Arizona. The Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act will deliver $55 billion to replenish funding for restaurants and establish a new program supporting other small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of Arizona’s economy and are helping power our historic recovery,” he said.

“I voted today to deliver assistance to small businesses across this country which have experienced significant loss during the pandemic. No one has been hit harder than those businesses at the Arizona border whose economies were devastated by cross-border closures and depend on robust cross-border traffic to thrive.

“This bill will ensure that those businesses that were disproportionately affected, like those in my district, receive the aid they need to bounce back stronger than ever.”

This bill provides $13 billion to establish the Hard-Hit Industries Award Program, which will assist Arizona small businesses with 200 or fewer employees that have experienced 40% or more in lost revenue. 

Together, with his Senate counterparts, Grijalva supports inclusion of language to ensure part of the funding will be guaranteed for border businesses as the bill moves forward.

Established through Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) distributed $28.6 billion to restaurants across the country — including $294,476,041 for 1,325 businesses in Arizona. Due to its popularity, the program quickly exhausted its funding before more than 170,000 eligible businesses could access relief.  

The Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act will provide $42 billion to replenish the RRF so these restaurants can apply for this assistance. 

This legislation also takes action to update the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to provide Arizona entertainment venues with more time and flexibility to use federal relief funds. This has been requested by Arizona businesses, and Rep. Grijalva has supported this flexibility as co-sponsor of the Save our Stages Extension Act.

Statement on Jackson’s confirmation

Following the confirmation of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement:

“Justice Jackson is a much-needed voice and long overdue addition to the Supreme Court,” he said.

“Her commitment to justice and fairness will benefit our nation. From public school student to Harvard Law student, to public defender, to federal judge, Justice Jackson’s admirable qualifications for the Supreme Court are unmatched. 

“Despite the partisan and embarrassing political and cultural warfare tactics Republicans used at her confirmation hearings, we witnessed firsthand Justice Jackson’s legal aptitude, sharp intellect and dedication to the rule of law.

“As the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, her confirmation is historic, and she will be a role model for future generations to come. I have no doubt that Justice Jackson will be an exceptional justice and work diligently with a servant’s heart. I congratulate Justice Jackson on her confirmation as she takes on the charge to preserve the integrity of our democracy and build on the foundation of America to guarantee impartial and restorative justice for all.”

Grijalva unveils $176M in federal transit funding for state

Grijalva said the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration would apportion $176,038,057 in funding through the administration’s formula programs in fiscal year 2022. 

It includes funding from the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund and advance appropriations provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to deliver historic transportation funding for Arizona,” Grijalva said. 

“These funds will be used to rebuild roads and bridges, upgrade transit systems, and modernize our transportation infrastructure to make it more accessible, resilient and sustainable. President Biden emphasized his commitment to our workforce and ensured our transportation infrastructure is built on equity, and I look forward to holding him to that promise.”

While the funding for many administrative programs is provided directly to the states, for several programs the funding goes to the Urbanized Area as defined by the census. Urbanized Area funding in Grijalva’s district includes $405,558 to Avondale-Goodyear. 

USDOT announced a more than $20 billion investment in American transit, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding levels, detailed by FTA in apportionment tables for each of 30 programs for fiscal year 2022, will provide 58% more funding, enabling transit agencies to modernize and expand services for residents in communities large and small.