The National Restaurant Association and its members applaud the decision of Sen. Chuck Schumer to co-sponsor the Senate version of the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed To Survive Act of 2020 (RESTAURANTS Act of 2020). Sen. Schumer’s decision highlights his support of this cornerstone American industry and his understanding of the on-going threat the pandemic poses to its survival.
“Restaurant jobs are the heartbeat of local communities across New York and the nation and the lifeblood of our economy, employing more young people, single mothers, and immigrants than most industries. As one of the hardest hit industries during this pandemic, we must do everything we can to ensure our restaurants and our restaurant workers are protected, otherwise we will shortchange our entire economy,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “I am proud to stand with the National Restaurant Association and support the RESTAURANTS Act to give restaurants the relief they need to weather this crisis so they can eventually fully reopen and bring back to work millions of workers who have lost their jobs. Restaurants can’t wait. Congress needs to act now to pass this important legislation and other critical assistance that struggling small businesses and workers are in desperate need of.”
“We appreciate Sen. Schumer’s leadership and his support of this vital legislation,” said Tom Bené, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The Senate version of the bill helps the widest array of restaurants which are all facing the same economic roadblocks. This important difference will mean that irrespective of their business model, more small business restaurant owners can hope for survival.”
The RESTAURANTS Act follows the form of a recovery fund the Association called for in a letter to Congress on March 18, just days after the industry was forced to shut down, and continued to refine in the Blueprint for Restaurant Revival. The fund would provide vitally needed immediate access to capital that would allow restaurants to endure. Between March and June, the industry lost more than $145 billion in sales and is on track to lose more than $240 billion by the end of the year.
According to Association research, at the height of the pandemic, 93 percent of New York state restaurants reported losses in sales and 80 percent of the state’s restaurant employees had been laid off or furloughed.
“The New York State Restaurant Association thanks Sen. Schumer for his support of restaurant owners and employees – both here in New York and across the country,” said Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association. “The restaurant industry is a vital and important economic engine in every community across our state. The support small business owners would get from this bill would be felt not only in our dining rooms but by other small business owners who help us make sure there is always a place at our tables.”
Read the full Senate RESTAURANTS Act here.