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National Restaurant Association calls on action from Congress for restaurant recovery amid new, mandated closures

Blueprint for Restaurant Revival sent to Congress

The National Restaurant Association sent its Blueprint for Restaurant Revival to Congress, asking for the federal government to step in to support the hardest-hit industry in the economy. As the pandemic has sweltered in Western and Southern states, COVID-19 is hurting foodservice businesses once again. Just in the past two weeks, state and local governments have shut down 100,000 businesses, according to Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the 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,” said Kennedy. “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.”

In April, the Association sent a letter for congressional leaders asking for relief with a similar roadmap. The previous version of its plan, a Blueprint for Recovery, which included establishing RFIRF, a fund for restaurant and foodservice establishments, was in consideration earlier this year, but stalled in Congress.

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[Related article: National Restaurant Association calls for industry relief]

The new plan focuses on short-term relief to reboot the restaurant industry through a Restaurant Recovery Fund; prioritizing COVID-19 testing and future vaccine for the well-being of employees in the food and agriculture sectors, ensuring the stability of food supply; and supporting restaurants through funding to feed at-risk populations, proving great, nutritious meals for low-income Americas.

The Blueprint, which can be seen here, calls for the creation of a mechanism to help restaurants access a second round of Paycheck Protection Program, and liability protections for businesses; and other tax, insurance and loan needs; and calls for payroll tax relief for restaurant workers and essential employees.

Photo credit: Louis Hansel (featured preview image)

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