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Kildee votes to restore restaurant relief funding

Pylyp Sukhenko

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee voted yes on a bill that would provide 55 billion dollars of economic relief to restaurants and small businesses in the U.S.

30 million dollars of those funds will be available to Mid-Michigan restaurants.

Congressman Kildee was asked if he thinks putting this much money into the economy will continue to hurt inflation.

"I understand the concern. But when this money is really targeted to keep businesses that could go under, to keep those businesses afloat. It’s a little different than some of the criticism about pushing money into the hands of consumers, like with stimulus payments, we’re not doing that anymore," said Kildee.

Many restaurants who applied for economic relief during the early days of the pandemic did not receive any assistance or were waitlisted due to high demand.

During the first round of economic relief at the start of the pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration did not have the capacity to meet demand.

"It is true," Kildee mentioned. "The SBA was completely inundated. And they were, of course, not only dealing with the restaurant revitalization funds, but also the paycheck Protection Program."

Kildee says he believes federal officials learned a lot over the past two years and he says he’s confident there will be enough funding to provide economic relief in a timely manner.

Rick Brewer is a general assignment reporter covering central and northern Michigan for WCMU Public Radio.