Late yesterday, by a highly partisan vote of 214 – 207, House Democrats approved a revised, $2.2 trillion HEROES Act that included $120 billion in direct assistance to independent restaurants, food trucks and bars but specifically excluded franchises! This version is the first that includes the $120 billion proposed by the Independent Restaurant Coalition in the “Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed To Survive Act” (RESTAURANTS Act) from earlier this summer, but that program would be off-limits to restaurants that are one of a chain or franchise that has more than 20 locations operating under the same name. Under this latest iteration however, franchises would be eligible to apply for additional Paycheck Protection Program loans, which would be replenished with additional appropriations and amended to allow increased flexibility relative to the deductibility of expenses. (found in Division E of the HEROES Act summary). On the flip side of the coin though, this version of the HEROES Act reinstates the full $600 per week unemployment premium that, coupled with their regular unemployment payments, encouraged many laid off restaurant workers to stay off the job earlier this year.