The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association is urging the governor and state legislators to implement emergency measures to help the thousands of Hoosiers who work in the restaurant and lodging industries.
With an executive order in place to close restaurants across the state, many hospitality find themselves without a paycheck.
“The hospitality industry in Indiana before this pandemic employed 14% of Hoosiers. Now, that number has been decimated,” said Patrick Tamm, chief executive officer and president of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Our industry has been among the hardest hit economically by this crisis.”
In a letter to Governor Eric Holcomb and legislators, the INRLA is asking for several steps be implemented, including the following four measures:
- Employees impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns shall be eligible for unemployment insurance, waiving the waiting period for receipt of benefits and the condition of the work search requirement.
- Employees are eligible to take medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if they are ordered or recommended to quarantine by the Department of Health or another medical professional.
- Twelve-month deferral of real and personal property taxes – interest-free (beginning April 1, 2020)
- Twelve-month deferral of sales, food & beverage, innkeeper taxes for hotels and restaurants – interest-free (beginning immediately).
During his daily COVID-19 briefing, Governor Holcomb said Thursday 22,583 Hoosiers had filed for unemployment insurance benefits during the first three days of this week. In comparison, 3,100 Indiana residents had filed for the benefits during the same week a year ago, according to Holcomb. Many of those, Tamm believes, work in the state’s hospitality industry.
“Hundreds of thousands of employees, restaurant owners, hotel managers and other Hoosiers in the hospitality industry are relying on our state government to aid them in this desperate time of need.”
Tamm says the loss of the Big Ten basketball tournament, the NCAA Regional Midwest tournament, as well as the loss of several conventions scheduled into the month of May has severely impacted the hospitality industry.
‘We rely on those visitors, those groups, and that’s not going to occur,” said Tamm.
Tamm says his organization is calling for a special session of the Indiana legislature, if necessary, to implement the emergency measures.
“Restaurants and hotels have had to close their doors. They have been forced to sustain operations unlike ever before,” Tamm said. “They will not be able to survive this economic stop without some assistance.”
President of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association Patrick Tamm told Inside INdiana Business job losses are exponential when restaurants are closed and events canceled.