National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy today released the following statement on the updated House HEROES Act:
“The National Restaurant Association appreciates the recognition of Congress and the White House that a recovery plan specifically aimed at the restaurant industry is imperative, culminating in Speaker Pelosi’s inclusion of the House RESTAURANTS Act in her revised HEROES Act proposal. Since March 18, we have galvanized public support around our call for a federal recovery plan for the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer.
“The House version of the RESTAURANTS Act is a tremendous step in the right direction, and we applaud Speaker Pelosi for her efforts. Unfortunately, the House proposal denies federal support for small regional chain restaurants, as well as individual owners of small franchise restaurants. After six months of a pandemic that has brought our industry to its knees, policymakers cannot pick restaurant winners and losers for federal relief. Even more restaurants and jobs will be saved if the House adopts the Senate version of the RESTAURANTS Act. Led by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), it takes a balanced approach to providing federal support to all restaurants that are suffering. We urge congressional leaders to embrace this approach.
“Restaurants from revered independents, to beloved regional chains, to the smallest corner diner are shutting down daily across the country. They support their communities – providing jobs, purchasing supplies from local companies, and serving the neighbors they love. Each of these restaurants deserves our support.
“The new HEROES Act also includes a second round of application eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) both of which enjoy the support of Democratic and Republican leaders. If Congress is unable to reach an agreement on a long-term comprehensive recovery plan before leaving Washington, Congress must move to renew access to these fundamental short-term tools to help thousands of restaurants that will otherwise close as outdoor dining becomes less viable.
“Restaurants around the country are making business decisions for October and November based on the actions of Congress this week. The fate of thousands of restaurants and their employees is truly in the balance. The time for political posturing is long gone. Our industry implores the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House to reach an agreement on behalf of America’s restaurants.”