WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Friday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released a statement from its president and CEO, Chip Rogers, regarding the Main Street Lending program.
“The Treasury Department’s inability to deploy the Main Street Lending program, with only an embarrassingly small fraction being distributed of the more than half-a-trillion-dollar capacity allocated from the CARES Act, will go down in U.S. history as one of the worst bureaucracy blunders of economic policy. Thousands of businesses have or will go out of business because these funds were not doled out as mandated by Congress,” Rogers said in the statement.
“The Main Street Lending Program has been a complete failure and provided no relief to the hotel industry, leaving 71 percent of hotels on the brink of closure and millions of jobs at permanent risk,” Rogers said, citing a new AHLA member survey in which 7 in 10 hoteliers said they won’t make it another six months without further federal assistance and 77 percent said they will be forced to lay off more workers. Without further government assistance, 47 percent of respondents indicated they would be forced to close hotels. More than a third of hotels will be facing bankruptcy or be forced to sell by the end of 2020, according to the survey.
“Congress should be outraged and immediately re-appropriate the unused $455 billion in funds to provide targeted relief to severely distressed industries, such as the hotel industry,” Rogers said in the statement. “Congress must act immediately to pass additional grant programs for industries and workers that are facing irreparable harm without further assistance.”