Momentum Continues to Build as Pair of Senators Push for Proposal to be Included in Next Relief Package
Denver – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced that their Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act now has 54 bipartisan co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate.
Momentum continues to build for the proposal following a letter that entrepreneur and philanthropist Howard Schultz and over 100 current and former CEOs sent to Congressional leadership earlier this week pushing for the RESTART Act to be included in the next Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) relief package to provide sustained support to the hardest-hit small- and mid-sized businesses through 2020 and into early 2021. The proposal has also garnered the support of over 40 trade associations from the manufacturing industry to the music industry.
“We’ve seen a wave of momentum for our proposal because businesses across a wide cross-section of industries – from concert venues to restaurants to hotels and manufacturing companies – have made it clear to their senators that they need a loan program with sustained support, flexible options for forgiveness, and ample time for repayment in order to stay afloat,” said Bennet. “Unless Congress includes the RESTART Act in this next relief package, we’re going to see hundreds of thousands of these businesses close their doors and never reopen – turning temporary job losses for millions of Americans into permanent ones. We cannot let that happen.”
“Support continues to grow for our RESTART Act, with over half of the Senate now signed on as cosponsors. Senators from both parties recognize that we must find a solution to ensure our hardest-hit businesses can survive and hardworking Americans have a place to go back to work,” said Young. “This bipartisan bill is vital to ensure that the pillars of our communities, including local family-owned restaurants, independent concert venues, and manufacturing facilities, don’t have to close their doors permanently.”
In addition to Bennet and Young, the RESTART Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
RESTART Trade Association Endorsements: American Gaming Association (AGA); American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA); American Pyrotechnics Association (APA); American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA); American Sportfishing Association (ASA); Broadway League; Coalition for Preserving American Furniture & Fabric Manufacturing; Economic Innovation Group (EIG); Endurance Sports Coalition; Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA); Home Furnishings Association (HFA); Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC); International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA); International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA); International Franchise Association (IFA); International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA); Live Events Coalition; Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI); Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA); Minor League Baseball (MiLB); National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM); National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit); National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO); National Independent Talent Organization (NITO); National Independent Venue Association (NIVA); National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA); National Music Publishers Association; National Restaurant Association; National Ski Areas Association (NSAA); Near Airport Parking Industry Trade Association (NAPITA); Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA); Outdoor Industry Association (OIA); PLAY Sports Coalition; Recording Academy - The GRAMMYs; Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); RV Industry Association; SESAC; Snowsports Industries America (SIA); Sport and Social Industry Association (SSIA); Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA); Vail Valley Partnership
A one-pager on the RESTART Act is available HERE.
Small Business Data
From the Census Small Business Pulse Survey, updated for the week of 6/14 to 6/20:
- 83% of small businesses reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a large or moderate negative effect on business.
- 45% of small businesses reported a decrease in operating revenues/sales/receipts during the second week of June.
- 11% of small businesses reported a decrease in the number of paid employees during the first week of June.
- Some businesses that have not reduced employees have still reduced employee hours: around 25% of small businesses reported a reduction in total number of hours worked by paid employees during the same timeframe.
- 75% of small businesses do not have enough cash on hand to cover more than two months of business operations, including financial assistance and loans.
- 75% of small businesses have requested financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) since March 13, 2020.
- 40% of small businesses believe it will take more than six months for business to return to its normal level of operations relative to 2019.
Real time economic data indicates a potential stall in small business recovery:
- As of June 16, total small business revenue decreased by 16.7% relative to January 2020.
- Revenue for businesses in high-income ZIP codes decreased by 23.7% compared to January 2020, while revenue for businesses in low-income ZIP codes decreased by 10.2 %.
- The number of hours worked at small businesses has decreased by 28% since January 2020.
- The number of small business locations open is down 22% since January 2020.
- The number of employees working at small businesses is down 27% since January 2020.
Hardest-Hit Industry Data
Travel and Hospitality
- 8 in 10 hotel rooms are empty across the United States.
- The hotel industry is projected to suffer revenue losses of 57.5% in 2020.
- In April 2020, U.S. hotel operating profits fell by 117% compared to 2019.
- In mid-June 2020, total rooms sold were half the amount of the total rooms sold last year.
- With 70% of hotel employees laid off or furloughed, hotel workers are losing over $2.4 billion per week.
- As of June 16, leisure and hospitality small business revenue has decreased by 40.6% since January 2020.
- Between March and May 2020, restaurant sales fell nearly $27 billion from pre-coronavirus sales in January and February 2020.
- April 2020 saw $29.3 billion in sales, the lowest sales level since February 1983.
- Between March and May 2020, total sales were down more than $94 billion from expected levels.
- As of mid-June, 1 in 5 food and drink locations are closed relative to the beginning of March, and 30% fewer employees are working than were working prior to the pandemic.
Music Venues and Theaters
- 90% of independent concert venues expect to permanently close down in a few months if shutdowns persist and no federal funding becomes available.
- Independent venues are forecast to lose almost $9 billion in revenue if the rest of 2020 remains dark.
- 92% of small businesses in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry reported that the pandemic had a negative effect on their business.
- As of mid-June, 1 in 3 leisure and entertainment business locations are closed relative to pre-pandemic levels, and 1 in 3 employees in the industry are no longer working.
A PDF of the new data is available HERE.