President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law Wednesday. The bill provides many American workers affected by COVID-19 with paid sick leave and boosts food assistance, unemployment insurance and federal Medicaid funding. It also provides coronavirus testing for those who need it.
AAHOA President/CEO Cecil Staton called the bill “a good step towards where we need to be as a country and as an industry,” but added that it is “imperative that Congress and the Trump administration act quickly and directly to provide the travel industry with tools to address the imminent liquidity crisis.”
“America’s hotel owners and their employees are the heart, soul and economic engine of the travel industry,” Staton said in a statement. “COVID-19 is hitting the industry hard, and the passage of this bill will provide much-needed relief to working Americans affected by this pandemic. It also includes important tax credits for small businesses to help offset some of the costs.”
Staton continued, “A proposed Travel Workforce Stabilization Fund emerged from a meeting earlier this week between President Trump and hospitality and travel industry CEOs. The proposal calls for $250 billion to be split between a travel and employment grants account and a travel business stabilization account. These would provide hoteliers and other travel-dependent businesses with emergency liquidity in the face of a sharp decline in occupancy rates and overall travel."
The bill will help millions of people in the industry, he said.
“Hoteliers are gravely concerned with the implications of cratering occupancy rates and the liquidity crisis they are facing. Many are worried about making payroll and paying the mortgage on their hotel. Millions of American workers could lose their jobs over the next three months, including 4.6 million in the travel and hospitality industries," Staton said. "The Travel Workforce Stabilization Fund is exactly the type of aggressive and direct action needed to stave off the complete economic collapse of not just the hospitality industry, but the broader travel industry and the elimination of millions of jobs. It could help tens of thousands of small businesses keep the lights on and keep their employees on staff. We join with our partners at the U.S. Travel Association and AHLA in calling on Congress and the White House to help keep travel-dependent business solvent as they respond to this public health crisis.”