Expansion of Cares Act vital says US Travel

Citing an 85% drop in travel spending, the U.S. Travel
Association said that the Cares Act needs more funding and that more
segments of the industry should be eligible to receive aid. These steps are vital for protecting the 15.8 million Americans whose
livelihoods depend on travel, U.S. Travel said.

The association called on Congress to add $600 billion to
the Paycheck Protection Program and expand eligibility to small businesses that
were left out of the first Cares Act such as destination marketing
organizations (DMOs), which are not eligible because they are classified as
501(c)(6) nonprofits or “political subdivisions” of local governments, and
small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) that operate multiple locations.

“The Cares Act was an ambitious step, but now the urgent
problem is that assistance is simply not getting where it needs to go,” said
U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow. “Major adjustments and more aid are
needed immediately to support small businesses, including local nonprofits that
are essential engines of the travel economy that employs one in 10 Americans.”

Besides adding an additional $600 billion to the Paycheck
Protection Program, U.S. Travel wants Congress to extend coverage through
December. The funding in that program is currently slated to expire on June 30.

“The economy will not realistically be in recovery by then
— and the initial round of funding is expected to run out in just a few weeks,”
U.S. Travel said. 

U.S. Travel said the economy is on pace to lose 5.9 million
travel-related jobs by the end of April, more than a third of the
travel-supported workforce.

Dow added that travel-related small businesses will be “vital
leaders of an economic recovery, but first they need to survive until the point
when travel demand returns. In order to make it, these businesses need to be
able to access the resources that will enable them to keep the lights on and
retain their employees.”

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