WASHINGTON—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, 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 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,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA.
“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… 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,” he continued. “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, we need immediate action to update the CARES Act and increase the limit on SBA loans,” he added. “The current limit will not allow a business owner to meet both payroll and debt service obligations beyond an estimated four to eight weeks. Consequently, it will result in continued layoffs of the very workers the bill seeks to protect.”
Rogers continued, “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.”