Thank you for the leadership you’ve shown in the face of this pandemic. And to your staff members reading this, thank you for all the work you’re putting in right now. I’m urging you to immediately create a relief program for the restaurant industry and its millions of workers.
Nationwide, over 15 million people work in this industry, many without paid sick leave or health insurance. There have been sweeping layoffs and these workers’ access to unemployment benefits has been uneven. They need government aid in the form of ongoing universal basic income, and relief from rent and protection from eviction. They will not have an easy time finding work in the restaurant industry any time soon.
Small and medium restaurant businesses need immediate rent abatement, tax deferrals, eviction protection, and money. Please create a relief fund these small- and medium-businesses can access, with money they do not owe back.
Do not let a bailout happen that only lets giant fast-food companies survive. McDonald’s has deep pockets. Your favorite neighborhood restaurant doesn’t.