If Congress does not reconvene immediately to add funding to the Paycheck Protection Program as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act the program is likely to run out of money, leading to more hotel closings, said Cecil Staton, president and CEO of AAHOA.

TIME IS RUNNING out for Congress to approve additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program that provides loans to small businesses, including hotels, as part of a federal stimulus. That’s the message AAHOA reiterated Tuesday in a statement.

Current funding for the Paycheck Protection Program provided in the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act is likely to run out of money by the end of this week, AAHOA President and CEO Cecil Staton said.

“Congress needs to come back to Washington and immediately authorize additional funding for the PPP before it runs out. America’s hotels are a signal industry, and they began feeling the effects of the COVID-19 economic downturn weeks before it infected the broader economy,” Staton said. “The PPP provides a crucial liquidity lifeline to them but will likely run out of money by the end of this week. With Congress not scheduled to reconvene until May and many hotel owners still awaiting action on PPP loan applications that could make or break their business, they literally cannot afford to wait.”

As the new funding is delayed, Staton said, hotels are forced to lay off employees across the country.

“Unless Congress acts, we could see thousands more close their doors before the end of April,” he said.

AAHOA previously endorsed a plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to add $250 billion to the PPP and other loan programs in the CARES Act. At the same time, applications for the existing loans were overloading lenders, causing delays.

“I think banks aren’t ready yet,” Orlando, Florida, hotelier Rupesh Patel said previously. “They haven’t gotten all the procedures they need from government, from the [Small Business Administration that administers the PPP]. They don’t even know how to process [the loan applications].”