Businesses Push Congress for One More Bailout

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine) –   Even though America in gaining strength after the pandemic, there are still hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that were hit hard during the height of the virus, and they say that they “still need tens of billions of dollars to stay afloat.”

In addition to restaurants and hotels, other businesses – amusement parks, travel agencies, and gyms – suffered a great deal during the pandemic. They had huge financial losses because of the social-distancing restrictions. They say that they “still face uncertainties as the economy recovers.”

These businesses are still asking for aid even after Congress “appropriated more than $1 trillion over the past year to support smaller employers through forgivable loans and grants.”

Sean Kennedy, the National Restaurant Association’s executive vice president of public affairs said, “We’re still incredibly vulnerable.”

Republicans as well as Democrats are sympathetic to these businesses “that were forced to curtail operations.” The lawmakers think that many of these industries didn’t get enough aid from the earlier governmental programs.

Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri), said, “Most of the folks on my side of the aisle are not opposed to some additional funding.” The restaurants “have been hit pretty hard. They’ve been one of the last groups to get relief.” Luetkemeyer is the top Republican on the House Small Business Committee.

A new bill that would give $60 billion for restaurants was introduced last week by a bipartisan group in the House and Senate. Although the hiring in restaurants is getting better, the National Restaurant Association says, “The industry lost $290 billion in revenue during the pandemic.” With many restaurant owners still in debt, it will be difficult to pay back the rent when it comes due.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) said, “If people pay attention to what’s going on in their community, I think they’ll find there’s broad support” for the restaurants. Small businesses seem to hold a “special place in the hearts” of lawmakers in the Senate and House.

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