WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) expressed support for plans by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to provide an additional $250 billion in loans for small businesses. In a letter sent to Congressional leadership, AHLA urged Congress to make several updates to the CARES Act in addition to increasing the funding. AHLA also sent a letter to the Federal Reserve and Treasury seeking action to prevent thousands of hotel properties from going into foreclosure.
In a statement, Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said that while the hotel industry applauds the Administration and Congress for their efforts during the COVID-19 crisis and supports the foundation of the CARES Act, more needs to be done to help protect businesses and workers.
“Unfortunately, as this crisis progresses beyond what anyone could have projected, we are now at a critical juncture and are calling on Congress to do more to protect businesses and help workers survive this unprecedented time,” Rogers said. “As a starting point, we strongly support legislation proposed by President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and Speaker Pelosi to provide additional funding for small business loans. This funding is vital to small business owners across America, including tens of thousands of small business hoteliers, to help them keep their doors open and save millions of jobs.”
The letter AHLA sent to Congress called for immediate action to update the CARES Act and increase the limit on SBA loans. “The current limit will not allow a business owner to meet both payroll and debt service obligations beyond an estimated four to eight weeks. Consequently, it will result in continued layoffs of the very workers the bill seeks to protect,” Rogers said.
AHLA also requested that the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve, and SEC take action to assist small business owners unable to make debt service payments on their mortgages, including commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). “Without action to shore up debt servicing, including in the CMBS market, this crisis will lead to widespread foreclosures, snowballing into mass disruption and a critical lack of liquidity in the commercial real estate market,” Rogers said.
“With the additional actions we are recommending, the hotel industry will be in a stronger position to make it through this unprecedented crisis, while building a foundation for a stronger tomorrow,” Rogers concluded.