With the new COVID-19 relief bill signed, many D.C. groups are hopeful they’ll receive relief funding.
Metro was set to close 22 stations next year if it didn't receive federal aid, but now, Metro Board member Steve McMillin said that won’t need to happen.
“It is likely Metro will be able to avoid service cuts in January 2022 that are part of the current proposed budget,” McMillin said.
The relief bill includes $30 billion for mass transit systems across the country. Locally, agencies like Metro, MARC and VRE stand to get about $1.4 billion, according to the American Rescue Plan.
Metro had said it needed about $210 million to close a budget gap which officials said may now be able to happen with this incoming federal aid.
The restaurant industry will also receive relief funding through this next bill.
More than 8 million restaurant employees were laid off or furloughed, and the industry lost $240 billion in sales between March and December, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Greg Engert of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group said this money is important and will help relieve some financial stress.
“We are extremely excited at the prospect at getting some relief money from this COVID bill. It’s going to be hugely important for us to have some cash to catch up on past bills,” Engert said.
Kathy Hollinger of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington said she’s put into perspective how hard this year has been for some restaurants.
”You have operators who have suffered from 80%, if not north of that number, in terms of losses,” Hollinger said.
Theaters and music halls will also receive funding, but the exact amount each group will receive is still being worked out.