National Restaurant Association Requests $325 Billion in Aid

The National Restaurant Association asked the White House and Congress for a $325 billion aid package. The trade group wants the government to establish an industry recovery fund, business interruption insurance, a loan package and tax relief.

The National Restaurant Association, which represents 1 million establishments, said Wednesday that it asked Congress and the White House for a $325 billion aid package to counteract the harm done by the coronavirus.

The request came a day after executives from some of the world’s biggest fast-food chains met with the Trump administration, including McDonald’s MCD, Restaurant Brands International QSR and Yum! Brands YUM.

Wednesday’s request includes a $145 billion restaurant and food service industry recovery fund to be established by the Treasury Department to help cover operations and pay employees, and a $35 billion community development block grant for disaster relief in hard-hit regions.

The trade group also asked for $100 billion in federally backed business interruption insurance; a $45 billion expansion in affordable federal and conventional loans; and $130 million in disaster unemployment assistance.

The association also requested tax relief, including delay and forbearance for certain tax obligations, tax credits for businesses that retain employees during the crisis; and a temporary payroll tax cut.

“We are revising our business model to provide meals in different ways: takeout, delivery, safety-enhanced dine-in,” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement.

“But we are facing economic headwinds that will lead many restaurants to shut down operations, lay off workers, and end service in our communities.”

The proposals advanced by the association “will ensure that restaurants have increased liquidity and access to necessary financing to help the industry and its employees recover,” Kennedy said.