The Rhode Island Hospitality Association (RIHA) hosted a special Hospitality Town Hall meeting virtually on Sept. 10. Special guests included Rhode Island State Sen. John Francis Reed GOIH (D-RI) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who discussed efforts being made on the federal level to provide more economic relief to the hospitality industry. Both Sen. Reed and Sen. Whitehouse support the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act. Introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives as House Resolution 7197 and the Senate as Senate Resolution 4012 in June, the grant program would, if passed, establish a $120 billion revitalization fund to help independent restaurants deal with the challenges facing the industry due to restrictions brought on by COVID-19 and support the reemployment of 11 million restaurant workers across the country. Both Sen. Reed and Sen. Whitehouse plan to revisit the issue in future RIHA meetings. As of press time, no further actions had been taken in the Senate or House of Representatives. Col. Hugh T. Clements Jr., Acting Police Chief, Providence, was also a guest during the meeting, addressing the recent political protests related to racial injustice in downtown Providence and how they have impacted businesses. More than 30 protests had taken place in Providence as of mid-September, according to Clements.