The following is a statement from Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), on the American Rescue Plan.
“The American Rescue plan is a vital step forward in helping small businesses stay open and protecting jobs. It contains many necessary provisions AHLA has advocated for to help put the hotel industry back on a path to recovery. We applaud President Joe Biden for recognizing that small businesses need more help to get through this difficult time and we urge Congress to act immediately. By bolstering the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and allocating grants to hard hit small businesses, including the leisure and hospitality sector, this legislation will serve as a critical lifeline for hotels and other businesses that have been decimated by the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has wiped out 10 years of hotel job growth. Leisure and hospitality accounted for 39% of all jobs lost since the onset of the pandemic—more than any other sector. Hotels will remain nearly 500,000 jobs below the industry’s pre-pandemic employment level of 2.3 million employees in 2021.
“While the vaccine rollout has begun, it will likely take months to widely distribute, and travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023. Once this bill is passed, Congress should immediately focus on additional support for the hardest hit industries. After the most devastating year on record for hotels, we will need additional support to retain and rehire our associates, revive our local communities, and restart our economy.”