Just hours after the House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act, President Donald Trump signed the roughly $2 trillion legislation into law. The American Hotel & Lodging Association and AAHOA both praised the legislation but pointed out issues with the its loan program.
President/CEO Cecil Staton issued a statement for AAHOA: “America’s hotel owners applaud President Trump and Congress for the swift passage of the CARES Act. This historic relief package provides immediate liquidity for small business owns and their employees as they struggle with the crippling economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, we must simultaneously navigate the regulatory and administrative hurdles that may crop up during the implementation of this law while continuing our conversations with lawmakers and administration officials about additional steps the government must take to ensure hotel owners can maintain access to capital throughout the duration of this crisis.”
Following the House's vote, AH&LA President/CEO Chip Rogers offered a statement for his association. “The hotel industry applauds Congress and the administration for their tireless work in response to this unprecedented public health crisis. We appreciate Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and Minority Leader [Kevin] McCarthy for their leadership. By passing the CARES Act, Congress has taken a critical first step to provide immediate support for American workers and the industries that drive our economy.
“We continue to support the underlying foundation of the CARES Act, which seeks to help millions of workers and thousands of small businesses, and we are grateful it has moved forward so quickly.
“As we have previously noted, we are disappointed that Congress was unable to increase the limits on Small Business Administration loans so that they would be more workable for our industry during this unprecedented halt in travel. Under the current limits, hoteliers will only be able to meet their payroll and debt service obligations for an estimated four to eight weeks. While we all look forward to the day when it is safe to resume traveling, the reality is that most hotels today are facing single-digit occupancy, and that is unlikely to change in such a short time period. With no revenue coming in, hoteliers can’t make their debt payments, which will result in the business going under and employees losing their jobs permanently.
“As Congress weighs additional stimulus programs in the coming weeks, we urge them to swiftly address this shortcoming in the CARES Act. We will continue to work in a bipartisan manner on a fourth wave of COVID-related legislation and future economic stimulus packages to help affected workers and industries. COVID-19 has been devastating for our industry, but we stand ready to do whatever we can to make it through this crisis.”