With more than 16.8 million Americans now out of work, according to the latest unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much more needs to be done to help the 500,000 small restaurants forced to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, says the Independent Restaurant Coalition. Over 20,000 chefs, restaurateurs and workers from across the country joined leaders of the Independent Restaurant Coalition to call on Congress to fix the CARES Act to ensure independent operators and the 11 million people they employ are able to survive.
“The current structure of the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness will not ensure restaurant staff will remain employed when the crisis is over,” reads a statement from the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “Eight-weeks of pay is a great thing for restaurant employees, but so long as independent restaurants remain closed, our staff will be laid off once again. Additional relief is needed until independent restaurants are allowed to reopen and operate at full capacity.”
For more, here’s the full text of the Coalition’s letter to Congress. The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed by chefs and independent restaurant owners across the country to secure vital protections for the nation’s independent restaurants and workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Coalition’s leadership team includes José Andrés, Kevin Boehm, Sean Brock, Andrew Carmellini, Ashley Christensen, Tom Colicchio, Suzanne Goin, Will Guidara, Camilla Marcus, Mike Lata, Sam Kass, Nick Kokonas, Kwame Onwuachi, Patrick Phelan, Erika Polmar, Naomi Pomeroy, Marcus Samuelsson, Adam Saper, Steven Satterfield, Michael Shemtov, Nancy Silverton, Frank Stitt, Bobby Stuckey, Caroline Styne and Andrew Zimmern.