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COVID-19

Hotels Join Airlines and Unions Asking for Paycheck Protection Extension

Hotels Join Airlines and Unions Asking for Paycheck Protection Extension
Joe Cortez

The hotel industry is joining a number of companies asking Congress to extend the Paycheck Protection Program from the CARES Act. The move mirrors that of both aviation unions and some airlines, saying that without the additional grants, the entire travel industry could be decimated by job losses.

Two major hotels are joining several major brands across the United States asking Congress for one thing: An extension of paycheck protections in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an open letter to Congressional leaders, executives from Marriott International and Choice Hotels are asking them to ensure continued payroll grants are part of the “Phase Four” support bill.

Small Businesses “Employ Almost Half of All Private Sector Workers”

The letter, signed by 102 current and former executives, including Patrick Pacious, CEO of Choice Hotels International and Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, asks Congress to consider the contributions of small businesses and their payrolls. According to their collective data, the group claims to employee “almost half of all private-sector workers and account for 44 percent of U.S. GDP.”

“While the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided short-term relief for many, that lifeline is coming to an end,” the group writes. “Another round of PPP would certainly be helpful for many of these businesses, but the hardest-hit sectors will need much more significant and sustained support.”

To keep the economy propped and employees at jobs, the group is asking for another round of federally-supported loans, aimed to help small businesses “transform and sustain themselves through 2020 and well into 2021.” They ask that support last longer than three months. Instead of asking for purely payroll support the group asks for “flexibility,” in how businesses use the loans, opening up the potential for uses beyond keeping employees at jobs.

The group also asks for at least partial loan forgiveness for certain businesses that have “suffered significant revenue declines.” The group does not specify which industries should benefit from the program.

Finally, the executives say they are not looking for “bottomless handouts,” but rather targeted support for entrepreneurs or small businesses who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The signees say that this request can showcase a “defining moment to show how capitalism can benefit all Americans.”

“We cannot stress enough the urgent need to act,” the letter closes. “By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon.”

Hotels join Airlines and Unions in Requesting Additional Support

The requests of the leaders of Choice Hotels and Marriott International are two of a growing number asking for additional support for the travel sector. In July 2020, both the Air Line Pilots Association and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA called on legislative leaders to offer additional payroll support to the airlines.

By the end of the month, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly was joining those voices, pledging to become personally involved in talks to get more Payroll Support Program funds to airlines. As it stands as of press time, Congress is considering three spending bills, each with different outcomes for the airlines, hotels, and travel sectors in general.

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. FlyingNone

    August 4, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    To pay people to do what?, 75% to show up and stand around looking at one another? If there are a lot less airplanes and a lot less passengers on those planes and there aren’t any people (or very few) staying in hotels, exactly what are we paying these employees to do? That’s like me hiring three people to do the job that only one is needed for and then asking someone else to pay the salaries of the other two. But don’t stop there, throw in a pension plan and child-care services at airports and hotels. Ridiculous – is there not a limit to this, even under the circumstances?

  2. MitchR

    August 5, 2020 at 6:02 am

    If they do it right Paycheck Protection works better than unemployment. Encourages businesses to keep paying employees and they stay on the job. Many employers have work to do, they are just experiencing revenue declines or having issues getting paid.

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