On Friday, the COVID Relief Now Coalition—a group of more than 300 public and private sector groups—sent an open letter to Congress calling for additional economic relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter follows an ad released last week by the coalition with the message: “Economic relief can’t wait.”
“The election is over and now it is time for Congress to do their job by prioritizing the many businesses and employees in the hardest-hit industries,” commented Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), who signed the December 4th letter to Congress and helped spearhead the COVID Relief Now Coalition. “Millions of jobs and the livelihoods of people who have built their small business for decades are just withering away because Congress has offered no relief since March and will not survive until a vaccine is widely distributed. America’s hotel industry is on the brink of collapse. We can’t afford to let thousands of small businesses die and all of the jobs associated with them be lost for many years.”
In a recent survey of AHLA members, 7 in 10 hoteliers said they won’t make it another six months without further federal assistance given current and projected travel demand, and 77 percent of hotels reported they will be forced to lay off more workers. Without further government assistance (i.e., a second PPP loan and the expansion of the Main Street Lending Program), nearly half 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 results.
In addition to AHLA, signatories of the December 4th letter to Congress included the International Franchise Association, National Association of Counties (NAC), National Conference for State Legislatures (NCSL), National Governors Association (NGA), National League of Cities, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S Travel Association, Society of Independent Show Organizers, International Council of Shopping Centers, Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), American Gaming Association, American Apparel & Footwear Association, Small Business Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council, and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and Go Live Together.
The full text of the letter is available here.