On Wednesday, July 15, the National Restaurant Association sent the “Blueprint for Restaurant Revival” to Congress. The comprehensive policy and legislative plan outlines actions the federal government should take to stabilize the industry in the short-term and set the foundation for long-term rebuilding.
“In just the past two weeks, state and local government mandates have shut down almost 100,000 restaurants,” says Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Since the restaurant industry was first shuttered, the National Restaurant Association and our State Restaurant Association partners have led the call at the federal, state and local level for policies that will allow us not to profit, but simply to survive this pandemic. Despite losing more jobs and revenue than any other industry in this country, Congress has chosen not to advance a recovery package that is tailored for the unique challenges of a restaurant on the cusp of bankruptcy.”
The Blueprint focuses on three main areas where Congress can act to make significant changes that would support restaurants of every size across the country, including:
- Short-term relief to restart the restaurant industry by creating a targeted Restaurant Recovery Fund; creating a mechanism for restaurants to access a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans; addressing liability protections for businesses; and other tax, insurance and loan needs.
- Ensuring the stability of America’s food supply chain from farm to table by prioritizing food and agriculture employees for testing and receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine and providing Payroll Tax relief for restaurant employees as essential workers.
- Helping restaurants support at-risk communities by funding programs to feed at-risk populations and provide greater access to restaurant meals for low-income Americans.
“The restaurant industry is one of tenacity, innovation, and dedication to serving our community,” says Kennedy. “We are looking to Congress not only for support for our short-term survival, but to create a long-term framework that sustains our role as a key part of the food supply chain for the millions of families that rely on us for nourishment.”
Read the full Blueprint for Restaurant Revival here.