CHIPPEWA FALLS (WQOW) - Local restaurant owners hit hard by the pandemic had the chance to voice their concerns to area politicians, specifically, discussing how the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is impacting their recovery.
The RRF designates up to $10 million dollars in funding that's equal to a restaurant's lost revenue during the course of this pandemic, and business owners do not have to pay it back.
To learn how the RRF is directly impacting business owners in our area, former Republican congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden and Rep. Tom Tiffany hosted a roundtable in Chippewa Falls on Monday.
During their discussion, restaurant owners said they believe additional unemployment from the government is leading to a workforce shortage in all levels of the supply chain; something Van Orden said is irresponsible.
"Every single step of this supply chain has been affected and it starts at the federal government level," Van Orden said. "The federal government has artificially created one: a labor shortage, the 9.3 million folks that are just not returning to work, and they've been paying people not to work."
Two weeks ago, Democratic Congressman Ron Kind also held a conversation about the RRF in Eau Claire.
During his visit, Kind was told by one pub owner that the RRF is fulfilling its intended purpose of benefiting the restaurant by allowing for the hiring of more workers and the financial resources to fill the booths once more.
"Get this place filled night after night, hiring up the staff in order to meet that demand," Kind explained. "It's a bridge to the other side; so we can return to normal."
Kind was one of the key legislators working on the fund. Nearly $30 billion federal dollars have been set aside for the RRF.