America’s Recovery Fund Coalition (ARFC), a group of 100-plus business organizations and trade associations, have joined forces to advocate for the creation of a federal grant-based recovery fund to aid companies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to survive and eventually thrive again.
ARFC said that the U.S. is expected to lose $1.2 trillion from the hotel industry alone, adding that 70 percent of hotel employees have been laid off.
“Those families have gone from living reasonable, comfortable lives with the ‘American Dream’ to pure panic,” said Oam Patel, a principal at Alora Hospitality Group.
In light of the dire consequences to the hotel industry, ARFC said it is calling on additional congressional support to help businesses to make payroll, offer workers benefits, reinvest in their local economies and more
“Hotels were one of the first industries affected by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover,” said Chip Rogers, CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. “The CARES Act was an important first step with a lot of supportive measures for the hotel industry, but we need Congress to make important changes to the program to reflect the current economic reality and help the employees in the industries that have been impacted the most.”
Through federal forgivable loans, the America’s Recovery Fund would offer support to enable businesses to retain and rehire staff, pay rent, meet certain debt obligations, and pay state and local taxes, ARFC said.
In all, ARFC represents 45 percent of the U.S. workforce. In addition to travel industry members, the coalition includes members from retail, restaurants, theaters, gyms, salons, real estate, financial services, construction and equipment suppliers—representing 58 million American workers.
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