By Jake Judd

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was in St. Cloud Wednesday to tout recent pandemic relief for small businesses and restaurants.

Senator Klobuchar was the author of the Restaurants Act included in the latest round of federal COVID-19 relief approved in January.

Klobuchar says she has a particular love for restaurants because her first jobs were in restaurants.

“I know how hard this work is. But owning the business is just as hard as you’re trying to balance your employees and your customers. And so the legislation that we just passed includes how for small businesses in general, and for restaurants.”

The Restaurants Act will bring about $15 billion to Minnesota restaurants by making more grants available and extending the Paycheck Protection Program.

“For a full year, Americans across the country have been the ones staying up half the night, wondering how they’re going to cover the rent to keep their small business alive or just keep food on the table. And this major package that we just passed, I think, goes a long way in giving them that confidence that we’re going to be able to get to that light at the end of the tunnel.”

Klobuchar says the next piece of federal legislation she is focused on is the $2 trillion infrastructure bill.

She says the passage of that bill will also begin to help with repairs many communities have put off because of revenue lost during the pandemic.

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