January 15, 2021
BETHESDA, MD – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) Executive Director John Bodnovich issued the following statement regarding President-elect Joe Biden’s announced coronavirus economic plan:
“We are encouraged that President-elect Biden understands the need for more federal support of Main Street hospitality businesses and is willing to work with legislators in Congress to bring relief to those that have been among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bars, taverns and restaurants have persevered through closures and operating restrictions, investing in new public health precautions to operate safely; adapting their businesses to new market dynamics to meet customers’ needs; and scraping to keep their employees on the payroll. Now, as they are shouldering significant debt and with closures persisting during winter months, a reckoning is coming for many of these small business owners.
“Despite gains on Wall Street and in other sectors, in December employment in bars and restaurants declined by 372,000 jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This sharp loss demonstrates that hospitality businesses remain in danger. Local bars and restaurants require targeted aid if they are to get back on their feet and survive.
“Whether through legislation like the RESTAURANTS Act or another measure that directly addresses the challenges bars and restaurants face, Congress has the opportunity to move the hospitality industry closer to the economic recovery that is projected in President-elect Biden’s plan.
“Beverage licensees are eager to work with President-Elect Biden’s Administration and Congress to save America’s bars and restaurants. Investing in the survival of bars and restaurants will help invigorate the Main Street economies that states, cities and towns rely on for their own economic well-being, and assist communities in helping build back the hospitality industry better than ever before.”