WASHINGTON (July 27, 2020) – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) applauded Senate Republicans for including several hotel industry priorities in the coronavirus relief package released today and urged Congress to move quickly to pass the legislation. Among the provisions in the Senate package are additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and limited liability protection for businesses as they reopen, both of which will support the hotel industry and our employees during this unprecedented crisis.
“Hotels and hotel employees have been severely impacted by the pandemic,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “We urgently need help just so hotels can remain solvent in order to retain and rehire our employees. We applaud lawmakers who have recognized this fact while crafting this critical legislation. We urge Congress to move swiftly to pass additional support directed at the industries and employees who have been most negatively impacted by this crisis.”
As Congress debates the latest round of COVID-19 legislation, AHLA continues to advocate for the following priorities, as outlined in our industry priorities:
- Provide additional liquidity for severely impacted businesses through a targeted extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- Establish a Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) market relief fund, with a specific focus on the hotel industry, as part of the Federal Reserve’s lending options.
- Make structural changes to the Main Street Lending Facility established under the CARES Act to ensure hotel companies can access the program.
- Include limited liability language to provide a limited safe harbor from exposure liability for hotels that reopen and follow proper public health guidance.
- Include targeted tax provisions that will benefit severely injured businesses and their employees, including tax credits for capital expenditures or expenses to meet the industry’s Safe Stay initiative; enhanced Employee Retention Credit (ERC); a temporary travel tax credit; exempting taxation on phantom income from loan modification forgiveness or cancelation; and allowing full deductibility of the food and entertainment business expense.
COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout have been devastating for the hotel industry and its employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the leisure and hospitality sector has lost 4.8 million jobs since February—more jobs than construction, manufacturing, retail, education, and health services combined. Four months into this crisis, hotels still staffed at less than half their pre-pandemic levels. The economic impact is the worst the industry has ever faced.
With a presence in every congressional district in America, hotels were proud to support more than 1 in 25 jobs and contribute $660 billion to U.S. GDP prior to the COVID-19 crisis.