Restaurants Tell Congress: Programs Not Providing Desperately Needed Relief
April 09, 2020 at 19:15 PM EDT
Washington, DC (RestaurantNews.com) The National Restaurant Association told Congressional leaders that COVID-19 relief funds were envisioned as a vital tool to help restaurants bridge the crisis, but there are increasing warning signs that more relief will be needed to help restaurants and employees.
The Association pointed out that the COVID-19 crisis has already cost three million restaurant employees their jobs and cut $25 billion in revenue from the industry since March 1, and that 15 percent of restaurants have or will within two weeks, permanently close with total job losses projected at seven million before the crisis abates.
“While COVID-19 funds are helping many businesses and employees across the country, there is no escaping that a growing number of restaurant owners feel that the PPP is not going to prevent them from permanently closing their operations in local communities,” Executive Vice President Sean Kennedy said.
“The premise of the Paycheck Protection Program is to be a vital way of allowing restaurants to bridge this crisis, but there are warning signs that it is not providing the relief that is so desperately needed for our industry,” he added.
The Association praised Congressional leaders who have pledged to provide PPP funds beyond the $349 billion authorized by Congress, and called for expanding the program to the maximum possible level. It noted that operational and staffing issues unique to the industry have hindered restaurants’ access to PPP funding.
To address these challenges, the Association called on Congressional leaders to address the following changes:
About the National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises more than 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry’s largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.