WASHINGTON (WFFT) — On Thursday, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) highlighted growing momentum for his "Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act" during a conference call with reporters.
The RESTART Act was introduced by Senators Young and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) in May to support the small- and mid-sized businesses most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Capitol via AP
More than 25 national and international trade associations – from music venues to manufacturing companies – have endorsed the proposal, and 40 Indiana businesses have expressed their support.
In addition, a bipartisan group of 10 Senators have signed on as cosponsors, and companion legislation was also introduced in the House Thursday by U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Jared Golden (D-Maine).
“Since introducing the RESTART Act in May, we’ve received widespread support from organizations across the country. I recently visited eight small businesses in eight Indiana cities to learn more about how the RESTART Act would benefit them. The overwhelming consensus was that Hoosiers want this legislation to pass and help restart the economy,” said Senator Young. “When the Senate reconvenes later this month, we will begin debating the next round of coronavirus relief. I will be pushing very hard for the RESTART Act to be included in any relief package, and I’m hopeful that we can come together to pass this bill quickly. Our businesses need this relief or many will not be able to survive.”
Senator Young was joined on Thursday's call by Mike Cartolano, president of Indiana-based fireworks events company Melrose Pyrotechnics.
The fireworks display industry has experienced particular hardship during the coronavirus pandemic with many towns and cities canceling Independence Day fireworks events.
The industry’s sales and revenue are centered around events on July 4, and businesses are struggling to find a way to survive until next year.
A loan program created by the RESTART Act would help provide a lifeline to the hardest-hit industries, including the fireworks entertainment industry, for the remainder of 2020.
“We really appreciate Senator Young’s leadership in introducing the RESTART Act. Out of everything we’ve looked at, this is exactly the type of assistance we need to survive this unprecedented time in our industry. The RESTART Program would allow us to stay in business for 2020 and keep our employees without having revenue for the rest of this year. Senator Young is clearly taking this situation very seriously and listening to the needs of Hoosiers. We support the RESTART Act and hope to see it become law,” said Mike Cartolano, President of Melrose Pyrotechnics. “I have 34 specialized, highly trained people that most have been here over 20 years, and without some assistance, I will be laying 70% of them off by the end of July. And where will they go? I cry for these people. Where will they go? They’re not only my employees, they’re my friends. I’m with them every day. I’m with them more than I am with my family every day. And these are hardworking Hoosiers that deserve their jobs. So any assistance that can be given to us is not just going to help Melrose, it’s going to help the people here, it’s going to help the entire country heal if this goes through.”
In addition to Senators Young and Bennet, the RESTART Act is also cosponsored by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
“If we’re going to get our economy back on its feet – which I’m confident that we will – we have to make sure the tens of millions of Americans who are unemployed have jobs to return to. For that to happen, we need to make sure the hardest-hit businesses across Colorado and the country stay in business – and survive – as we face our new normal,” said Senator Bennet. “Businesses across a wide cross-section of industries – from concert venues to restaurants to hotels and manufacturing companies – endorse the RESTART Act because they know it’s tailored for their needs and allows them to take out the loan with flexible options for forgiveness and ample time to repay it. Unless Congress acts, we’re going to see a lot of businesses close their doors and never reopen – turning temporary job losses into permanent ones. We cannot let that happen, and it’s why we need to pass the RESTART Act.”
To learn more about how the RESTART Act will help restart the economy, click here or see below.