WASHINGTON (WDVM) — A coalition presented a letter signed by over 3,000 restaurants from across the country to Congress stating the need for the Restaurant Relief Fund (RRF) to be replenished. A release from the Independent Restaurant Coalition said that these restaurants and bars are “in danger of closing” if this does not happen.

The release said that 20 months into the COVID pandemic, restaurants are still dealing with the repercussions of debt and rising food costs. With the Omicron variant spreading, customers are still hesitating about going out to eat.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act was introduced by Senators Roger Wicker (R-Ms.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Az.) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Or.-3) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.-1). If so, it would add $60 billion in funding to the RRF to support these businesses.

“By the end of January, I will permanently close my restaurant if Congress does not refill the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. I have hung onto my restaurant for this long hoping that my government would recognize that this is a time of need for restaurants,” Dwayne Allen, owner of the Breadfruit & Rum Bar in Phoenix, Arizona, said in the release.

The release said that “restaurants and bars lost over $280 billion during the pandemic” and only received $28.6 billion in relief.