Various hotel CEOs wrote a letter to US President Donald Trump seeking help to save the accommodations industry, citing that a large portion of the Main Street Lending program funds remains unused.
Chief executives of different hotel chains have come together to write a letter to US President Donald Trump. They are seeking for help as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upset the hotel and travel industry.
Letter to the President
On Thursday last week, dozens of CEOs of the leading hotels addressed a letter to Trump to take action as the lodging industry struggles amid the health crisis. The leaders of hotels like Best Western and Hilton plead to the White House for help. They asked the administration to support the industry, save millions of jobs, and prevent an impending wave of foreclosures.
— Illinois Hotel & Lodging Assn. (@Illinois_Hotels) October 20, 2020
In particular, the executives asked the president to fully utilize Main Street Lending program’s funds and expand it. The hotel chiefs said that a huge fraction of the $600 billion still remains unused.
Using the Funds
“Mr. President, we believe you have the power to call for immediate modifications to the MSLP to increase participation and help thousands of businesses that have been crippled by the pandemic through no fault of their own.”
The executives suggested that Trump use his executive power. They want him to encourage the Federal Reserve “to amend and expand the Main Street Lending Program.”
They noted that the program was “to provide up to $600 billion in financing for our nation’s small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition prior to the pandemic.”
A Struggling Industry
The executives said they “represent the breadth and depth of the lodging industry in the United States, which supported 8.3 million jobs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and generated more than $660 billion towards the US GDP.”
The executives also wrote that 60 percent of the industry are small businesses, while minorities own nearly 50 percent. Further in the letter to Trump, the hotel bosses said that the pandemic has “wreaked havoc” on the industry. Moreover, they noted that furloughs and layoffs account for “three out of every ten hotel employees.”
“As a result of COVID-19. The accommodations sector is now left with an unemployment rate of 30 percent compared to the national average of 7.9 percent,” the letter reads.
David Kong, the CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts, talked to CNN Business about the possible fate of the hotel industry. “If we don’t get a vaccine soon and business doesn’t return, it’s going to get much worse.”