As businesses face the possibility of another closure, a U.S. restaurant trade group said that the last relief bill was not enough and now urges the government for a ‘targeted aid’ to help the industry.
Restaurateurs are yet to face another threat again as the rising number of coronavirus brews the possibility of business closures. In fear of losing billions of revenues again, a restaurant trade group called for another stimulus relief bill specifically for restaurateurs.
Trade group asks another round of financial aid
On Wednesday, July 15, the National Restaurant Association wrote a letter asking policymakers in the House and Senate to grant the industry a “specific aid” to help eateries recover.
In the letter—which was titled “Blueprint for Restaurant Revival“—the group also argued that the first monetary aid was not enough to get restaurants out of the woods.
For the past two weeks, the NRA projected a total of 100, 000 restaurants that have been shut down due to state and local mandates. The group also estimated a US$240 billion[AU$338.55 billion] loss in revenue this year, while nearly eight million workers were furloughed from March until May.
In the letter, the trade group said:
“As you work toward a bipartisan agreement on a fourth coronavirus response bill, we offer a simple message: current federal recovery mechanisms are not enough to sustain the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer.”
Aside from the request of another stimulus aid, the group of restaurateurs also mapped out several plans tailored to the industry’s needs, including the Restaurant Act. If it turns into a law, the measure will enable the sector to receive grants through a $120 billion recovery fund.
The act will ask for all expenses spent using the Paycheck Protection Program to be tax-deductible. It will also cover improved funding, liability concerns for restaurants, and guidelines for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
The NRA also calls for prioritization of food and agriculture supply chain as well as a strategy for testing and vaccines.
Restaurateurs face business closures again
With the flood of new coronavirus outbreaks, it appears that restaurateurs not only ask for another relief bill only because the first aid was not enough. Unfortunately, the sector is threatened by the possibility of business closures again.
“We are moving into this stop, start, on again, off again cycle,” Sean Kennedy of NRA said, per CNBC.
The group’s vice president of public affairs also argued the sustainability of the on and off-cycle the industry is experiencing. He said that, for a sector with nearly 16 days of working capital, the situation is capital intensive.
In California, Governor Newsom reversed the state’s social distancing restrictions and ordered all indoor businesses—including restaurants—to temporarily close their doors again. The decision was made following the uptick in new coronavirus cases across the state and hit a positivity rate of 7.4%.
As of this writing, Congress has not said anything concerning the restaurateurs’ trade group’s request yet.