1000 RESTAURANT WORKERS, BUSINESS OWNERS & ADVOCATES RALLY IN TIMES SQUARE
NEW YORK, NY, December 15, 2020 - One day after indoor dining was shut down in New York City, a groundswell of more than 1000 New York restaurant workers, restaurant owners and operators, industry supporters and trade groups including the New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar & Lounge Association, the NYC Hospitality Alliance and others rallied in Times Square with a powerful message to the federal government to immediately pass The RESTAURANTS Act, an industry-specific stimulus program to help mitigate the economic and social devastation caused by the pandemic.
With over a thousand restaurants and counting already permanently closed and tens of thousands of industry jobs lost, New York City's iconic restaurant industry is on its last legs and many are fearing further collapse in the near future if the government doesn't act soon.
In addition to urging the federal passage of The RESTAURANTS Act, the rallying group called on the state and city government to do their parts to save the industry by extending and strengthening the commercial rent eviction moratorium through 2021, converting current sales taxes into cash grants for restaurant owners, eliminating unfair local taxes, and enhancing unemployment benefits for the thousands of workers who have lost their jobs or who will as a result of the shutdown on indoor dining.
"It's now or never," said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, and guest speaker at the rally."New York City's restaurant industry leads the nation and is essential to the economic and social fabric of the city. We need the federal government to pass The RESTAURANTS Act now! Another round of PPP funding will not save this city's beloved restaurants and critical jobs."
"When considering the cost in terms of jobs and revenue, the impact of empty store fronts on neighborhoods and other local businesses, and the repercussions for tourism and spending from commuters and daily visitors, the government can't afford to NOT save the industry," said Rigie.