Hard-hit industries seek additional federal coronavirus aid 

Several hard-hit industries including restaurants, live-events businesses and gyms are renewing calls for Congress to provide additional financial aid, as the fourth surge in COVID-19 cases slows economic activity. 

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the pleas for aid follow the closing of several programs established by Congress earlier in the pandemic, leaving small businesses with fewer options for federal help. Some businesses also say they haven’t received meaningful aid because they were ineligible for certain earlier programs.

Lawmakers from both parties have signaled support for additional aid, but any package likely faces an uphill climb as Congress grapples with other legislative priorities like the $1 trillion infrastructure proposal and the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion health care, education and climate bill. 

Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., a member of the House Small Business Committee, says the trajectory of the delta variant of COVID-19 injected new urgency into efforts to pass additional aid. During a committee meeting Thursday, Phillips also said both the House small business panel and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship would soon start working on a targeted aid package for hard-hit industries. Read the full story.