Louisiana needs the RESTAURANTS Act
Louisiana restaurants are the crown jewels of the state. We are stewards of a rich heritage that occupy the centers of our communities for families, gatherings and celebrations. Every year we attract more than 50 million visitors from around the world to our great state to share our unique cultural heritage, particularly as it is so deliciously expressed through food.
Louisiana restaurants are the backbone of the Louisiana economy. We employ more than 200,0000 people in Louisiana and generate more than $10 billion in revenue and $1 billion in taxes each year. We are centers of an ecosytem that supports real estate, tourism, farmers, fishers, and oystermen.
All of this is at risk. Our restaurants in Louisiana are down more than 50% from 2019. Our debt is growing. Our restaurants will not survive COVID-19 and continued shutdowns. The Paycheck Protection Program did not save our industry. It is simply adding more debt. Similarly, RESTART will not work for restaurants.
The RESTAURANTS Act uniquely allows us to keep our restaurants together, pay our employees, our landlords, and our suppliers. It is the bridge that will enable us to survive until there is a vaccine and it is safe for our guests to travel and join us in the dining room again.
We would welcome Senators Cassidy and Kennedy to lead this effort as cosponsors of the RESTAURANTS Act, and champions of Louisiana's most precious and valuable assets.