70-Plus House Members Sign Letter Urging Travel Industry Relief

In a letter sent to Congressional leadership, a bipartisan group from the House of Representatives requested additional support for the travel, live events and fitness industries.

“Congress has risen to the challenge before, standing up targeted relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), and the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) program,” the letter read. “Together, these programs helped keep millions of Americans on payrolls, prevented countless small businesses from closing, and helped power an economic recovery much more robust than most would have predicted.”

It continued: “Unfortunately, not all small businesses in need were able to access these programs. Others did not receive much-needed financial assistance because the funds simply ran out. Instead of lifting all boats, we’ve only lifted some, leaving scores of small business owners out in the cold through no fault of their own.”

The members of Congress called on the House of Representatives and the Senate to expedite a targeted relief package that funds all previously eligible requests through the RRF and allows small businesses in the aforementioned fields to request federal assistance.

Eben Peck, EVP, advocacy for the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), said in a statement, “ASTA commends Representatives [Dean] Phillips, [Earl] Blumenauer, [Brian] Fitzpatrick, and every member who signed onto this letter to House and Senate leadership calling for additional targeted small business relief. As these legislators recognize, for many small businesses the pandemic is far from over. This is especially true for those in the travel agency sector, uniquely exposed to this global pandemic given their focus on international travel. As we are seeing in real time, each new coronavirus variant brings with it new recovery-crushing travel restrictions.”

He additionally mentioned that Congress should pass the Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act (H.R. 6161) and the SAVE Act (H.R. 2120) and to include travel agencies in the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program or equivalent relief.

This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.

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