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DENVER (KDVR) — The Independent Restaurant Coalition, made up establishments across the country, is asking Congress for $120 billion to help them stay open and keep workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The so-called “Restaurants Act” is now being considered by lawmakers. 

Morgan Freeman voices a new ad supporting the act that is currently running on national television.

If passed, the money would be used to cover operating costs for small restaurants, bars, food trucks and caterers. 

The money would not need to be repaid. 

The IRC says the money could help 12,000 establishment in Colorado. 

“This act would help stabilize our industry to get us through to the other side. We don’t know if that other side is January, June of next year. The PPP was an eight-week fix and we’re looking at an 18-month problem,” said Bobby Stuckey, who is a member of the IRC and owns the Tavernetta restaurant at Denver Union Station.

Congress is currently tied up in talks over another round of stimulus money. 

The IRC says that while it has received support from several members of Congress in Colorado, there are still four who have not agreed to support it. 

At Torres Mexican Food on South Federal Boulevard, the idea that more help could be coming to restaurants is good news for America Galindo. She has worked here as a server there 18 years. 

“It makes me more happy because I can get more money and pay my bills and take care of my family and my rent and everything. I’m worried so much about it because I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” said Galindo. 

The IRC is hoping both the US Senate and House include the act as part of other COVID-19 relief efforts now being discussed in Washington.