TRAVEL CHANNEL TV personality and Argeo Hospitality CEO Anthony Melchiorri has made a career out of “fixing” troubled hotels, is now bringing his celebrity status to bear on Congress in a bid for more federal stimulus. The aid is needed to address a liquidity crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic Melchiorri said in a video statement.
In the video, Melchiorri explains the need for programs like as a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, relief for those with commercial mortgage-backed security loans, access to the Main Street Lending Program for commercial real estate, and increased resources for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. And members of Congress should remember, Melchiorri said in the video, hotels are not actually the giant corporations some people think.
“America’s hotels are small businesses. The majority are local businesses owned and operated by friends and neighbors in our communities,” said Melchiorri, host of Hotel Impossible and the Anthony Melchiorri Live podcast. “The economic fallout of this pandemic hit the hospitality industry hard. Without travelers, without heads in beds, there’s no cash in the register. The men and women I work with every day, like the hotel owners at AAHOA, are facing a dire financial crisis that threatens to shutter thousands of businesses across the country. Congress needs to do right by these small businesses and help preserve the millions of jobs they create.”
The pandemic’s effects on the travel and hospitality industries have put many hotels in financial peril, facing foreclosures or mass layoffs. Nearly half of respondents in a recent survey said they are at risk of losing their property. The hospitality industry has also lost more than 4.8 million jobs since the onset of the crisis in February.
Nearly 90 percent of hotels furloughed or laid off workers, and over one-third have not been able to hire back any employees. Forecasts from STR and CBRE Hotels Research say the industry will not return to full strength until 2023.
“Hotel owners and their employees need real relief, and they need it now,” said Cecil Staton, AAHOA president and CEO. “Our leaders in Washington must work together and create a stimulus package that addresses the reality facing hotel owners. Another round of PPP will help ensure employees can continue to be paid. Granting hoteliers greater flexibility with EIDL, access to the Main Street Lending Program, and CMBS relief will ensure that these businesses can come out on the other side of this crisis. People will travel again, and when they do, we want our hotels to welcome them into our communities once more.”
Congress currently debating the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act in the Republican controlled Senate and the Democrat controlled House’s Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act.