The National Restaurant Association has sent a State and Local Blueprint for Rebuilding plan to the National Governors Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State Legislators, encouraging their members to continue keeping the restaurant industry at the forefront of their conversations about how to accelerate the recovery of their economies.
“State and local lawmakers have the power to make a real difference in their local industry’s recovery,” said Mike Whatley, vice president for state affairs and grassroots advocacy for the Association, in a letter to the lawmakers. “Decisive action on this proposal would provide critical tools and opportunities for the hardest hit restaurants struggling to find a new normal. They could help address some of our long-term obligations and the recruitment challenge, which we expect will continue into our busiest months later this summer.”
The Blueprint includes 12 detailed steps lawmakers can take, including establishing a state-based restaurant grant fund, protecting vulnerable businesses from unforeseen tax burdens due to federal relief, and summer employee recruitment and retention bonus for restaurant and hospitality workers. The plan also recommends expanding access to child care for hospitality workers who cannot work from home, permanently expanding outdoor dining, making expanded off-premises alcohol regulations permanent, and enacting third-party delivery protections for restaurants based upon transparency and permission.
“The Association appreciates the efforts of leaders at the state and local level to work with the restaurant industry throughout the pandemic. Their creativity and commitment to our survival has been vital to the survival of restaurants large and small in every community. As we now begin to rebuild our industry, we encourage all legislative leaders to work with the Association and our 52 state restaurant association partners on ideas to help restaurants thrive once again in the future,” Whatley continued.