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Texas governor signs bill allotting $180 million for food and tourism recovery

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Gov. Abbott on Monday signed Senate Bill 8, allocating $180 million for Texas tourism, travel and hospitality industries. - PEXELS / RUBEN REYES
  • Pexels / Ruben Reyes
  • Gov. Abbott on Monday signed Senate Bill 8, allocating $180 million for Texas tourism, travel and hospitality industries.
In between politically motivated crusades, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott actually found the time to sign a bill that could have a measurable impact on the state's beleaguered hospitality sector.

On Monday, Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 into law, allocating nearly $16 billion in federal pandemic-relief cash to state resources and programs, including $180 million in aid for businesses in the tourism, travel and hospitality industries.

The funding, which comes from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), was awarded to the State of Texas earlier this year. The $180 million carved out for food, beverage and tourism businesses will be available to those who haven't already received federal aid.

“This grant program cannot reverse all of the damage that the industry has suffered during the pandemic, but it will be incredibly meaningful to thousands of restaurants, theaters, distilleries and other businesses that need a jumpstart to turn the corner and rebuild,” TRA President and CEO Emily Williams Knight said in a release.

Moving forward, the TRA “will work closely with the Governor’s Office as they develop the application procedures, doing everything [it] can to ensure restaurants have a fair shake.”

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