WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement following the passage, Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO, applauded the passage but expressed concerns with the limits on SBA loans in the legislation.
“The hotel industry applauds Congress and the Administration for their tireless work in response to this unprecedented public health crisis. We appreciate Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy for their leadership. By passing the CARES Act, Congress has taken a critical first step to provide immediate support for American workers and the industries that drive our economy,” Rogers said. “We continue to support the underlying foundation of the CARES Act, which seeks to help millions of workers and thousands of small businesses, and we are grateful it has moved forward so quickly.”
“As we have previously noted, we are disappointed that Congress was unable to increase the limits on Small Business Administration loans so that they would be more workable for our industry during this unprecedented halt in travel. Under the current limits, hoteliers will only be able to meet their payroll and debt service obligations for an estimated four to eight weeks. While we all look forward to the day when it is safe to resume traveling, the reality is that most hotels today are facing single-digit occupancy, and that is unlikely to change in such a short time period. With no revenue coming in, hoteliers can’t make their debt payments, which will result in the business going under and employees losing their jobs permanently,” Rogers continued.
“As Congress weighs additional stimulus programs in the coming weeks, we urge them to swiftly address this shortcoming in the CARES Act. We will continue to work in a bipartisan manner on a fourth wave of COVID-related legislation and future economic stimulus packages to help affected workers and industries. COVID-19 has been devastating for our industry, but we stand ready to do whatever we can to make it through this crisis,” Rogers concluded.