February 15, 2022

Jack Miller, Communications Director
[email protected]


More Than 6 Million Small Businesses Received Emergency Relief in 2021, Fueling Historic Recovery for Main Street

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Invest in America Action launched a new digital ad today, “Going Strong,” which highlights the success of the American Rescue Plan’s support for small businesses. The American Rescue Plan rushed critical aid to more than 6 million small businesses and saved millions of livelihoods. The rescue bill is a prime example that public investment works – and can lead to a booming economy.

View the digital ad here.

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, small businesses across the country were able to survive the pandemic and bounce back stronger, “ said Zac Petkanas, senior adviser for Invest in America Action. “Today, Americans are starting new businesses at record rates. Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, there is a new confidence and momentum in the American economy. Now is the time to build on that momentum and pass critical investments that create millions of jobs and keep America growing strong.”

Earlier today, Invest in America Action released a report outlining how the American Rescue Plan helped small businesses bounce back from the pandemic.

Below are details from the report:

American Rescue Plan Delivered Billions In Aid To Small Businesses Through PPP, Grants, and Targeted Support

  • Over 6 million small businesses impacted by the pandemic received relief last year. In total, nearly $416.3 billion was delivered to help small businesses through several American Rescue Plan programs, including the following:

    • Paycheck Protection Program ($280 billion)

    • Restaurant Revitalization Fund ($28.6 billion)

    • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant ($13.4 billion)

  • The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant has awarded funding to nearly 13,000 live venues, theaters, and other entertainment and cultural hubs.

  • The COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs supported the hardest-hit businesses and private nonprofits from low-income communities.

    • The programs have provided almost 500,000 small businesses with approximately $6.3 billion in financial relief, helping businesses come back from the pandemic.

  • American Rescue Plan funds have been a boon for America’s local businesses.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Supported Over 100,000 Restaurants and Saved an Estimated 900,000 Jobs 

  • The Restaurant Revitalization Fund has supported more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses by delivering $28.6 billion in relief.

    • Of the $28.6 billion allocated, $18 billion in critical relief aid has been distributed to women-owned small businesses ($7.5 billion), veteran-owned small businesses ($1 billion), and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses ($6.7 billion). [Small Business Administration]

  • The National Restaurant Association estimated that over 900,000 restaurant jobs were saved as a result of the initial round of Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants.

    • Restaurant owners who received RRF grants agreed that the American Rescue Plan helped them stay in business and keep employees on payroll.

    • 96% of RRF recipients said the grant made it more likely that they would be able to stay in business during the pandemic. [National Restaurant Association]

    • 85% of RRF recipients said the grant helped them retain or hire back employees that would otherwise have been temporarily or permanently laid off. [National Restaurant Association]

American Rescue Plan Helped Americans Create Their Own Small Businesses At Record Rates In 2021

  • In the first six months of 2021, Americans filed a record-breaking 955,100 applications to start new businesses that were likely to hire employees, 45 percent higher than at that point in 2009.

  • The Census Bureau reported that Americans created nearly 5.4 million private businesses in 2021, 68 percent higher than the 2015-2019 average of 3.2 million per year.

  • The American Rescue Plan’s policies helped fuel a much faster and stronger recovery than the 2008 financial crisis. According to CBS News, “by comparison, in the years after the Great Recession fewer than 2 million new business applications were filed each year through September.”

    • While exact comparisons can be difficult to determine, estimates show that our current economic recovery has taken place at eight times the speed of the Great Recession.


About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at and @InvestNowUSA, and