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  • Writer's pictureAmy Stark

Restaurant Owners Organize to Fight for the Industry

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

The Independent Restaurant Coalition was founded by an independent group of chefs including the collaborators below and organizations including Food Policy Action and the James Beard Foundation.

With the passing of CARES Act last week many small businesses, including restaurants, now have access to low-interest loans and grants from the federal government. According to Tom Colicchio, unfortunately, the loans will not be enough to save the industry.

In an interview with Forbes, Colicchio, founder of Crafted Hospitality and host of Top Chef, warned that 70% of restaurants may close because of the COVID-19 pandemic. His goal with the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) is to lobby Congress for additional stimulus spending that will provide more help for restaurants. Colicchio says that unlike other small businesses, restaurants will not be able to reopen and practice social distancing.

The IRC is fighting for additional funding beyond the time frame outlined in the CARES Act. This additional funding would include a six month income replacement program to provide full and continued employment to all restaurant staff, payment of rents, and payables to suppliers.

More information about the IRC is available on their website at


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