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AHLA supports plan to add funds for small business loans, seeks additional action to protect hotel jobs

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Thu, Apr 9th 2020 08:10 pm

AHLA CEO says additional funding and further action needed by administration and Congress to save millions of hotel jobs and tens of thousands of small business hotels at risk

 The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) expressed support for plans by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to provide an additional $250 billion in loans for small businesses. In a letter sent to congressional leadership today, AHLA urged Congress to make several updates to the CARES Act in addition to increasing the funding. AHLA also sent an urgent letter to the Federal Reserve and Treasury seeking action to prevent thousands of hotel properties from going into foreclosure.

The following statement is attributable to Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA:

“The hotel industry applauds the Administration and Congress for their efforts during this unprecedented public health crisis. We support the underlying foundation of the CARES Act, which is an important step toward getting our country up and running again. With the majority of the hotel industry made up of small businesses around the country, the urgency to act is more critical than ever.

“Unfortunately, as this crisis progresses beyond what anyone could have projected, we are now at a critical juncture and are calling on Congress to do more to protect businesses and workers survive this unprecedented time. As a starting point, we strongly support legislation proposed by President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi to provide additional funding for small business loans. This funding is vital to small business owners across America, including tens of thousands of small business hoteliers, to help them keep their doors open and save millions of jobs.

“As outlined in a letter we sent Congress today, we need immediate action to update the CARES Act and increase the limit on SBA loans. The current limit will not allow a business owner to meet both payroll and debt service obligations beyond an estimated 4 to 8 weeks. Consequently, it will result in continued layoffs of the very workers the bill seeks to protect.

“Finally, AHLA has also requested swift action by the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve and SEC to help thousands of small business hotel owners who will be unable to make debt service payments on their mortgages, including commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) debt to keep their doors open and avoid foreclosure. Without action to shore up debt servicing, including in the CMBS market, this crisis will lead to widespread foreclosures, snowballing into mass disruption and a critical lack of liquidity in the commercial real estate market.

“With the additional actions we are recommending, the hotel industry will be in a stronger position to make it through this unprecedented crisis, while building a foundation for a stronger tomorrow.”

The AHLA is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry and contributes nearly $660 billion to U.S. GDP. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. Learn more at www.ahla.com.

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