Michigan restaurant association praises COVID-19 relief package

click to enlarge Inside of Townhouse Detroit, a bar and restaurant located in Ally Detroit Center. - Evan Gonzalez, Detroit Stock City
Evan Gonzalez, Detroit Stock City
Inside of Townhouse Detroit, a bar and restaurant located in Ally Detroit Center.

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) has been diligent in their fight to get support for the tens of thousands of restaurants in the state who are struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Justin Winslow, the president of the MRLA, released a statement on the state and federal COVID-19 relief bills. In it, he expressed gratitude on behalf of his members for finally passing critically needed aid.

“As we begin our arc towards more sunlight on this winter solstice, Michigan’s beleaguered restaurants and hotel operators received the first pieces of good news in some time, giving all of us hope that brighter days lie ahead,” Winslow said.

“We are thankful to the Michigan legislature, which put partisan politics aside to pass a much-needed stimulus package that will provide direct and meaningful relief to those in this industry most impacted by the extended second shutdown.”

“We applaud our leaders in Congress who accomplished the same feat today by passing the second largest stimulus package in the history of the United States. While the final compromise did not include every priority championed by the hospitality industry, no one in 2020 is in a position to make perfect the enemy of the good.”

The statement notes that a more flexible expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program will be welcome news for millions of entrepreneurs right here in our state. Further, the expanded utilization of funds, flexibility for the deduction of expenses, and industry-specific eligibility for funding is a welcome addition in the new package.

“There is a lot of good in the final compromise that will save jobs and save many restaurants and hotels from closing their doors forever," Winslow said.

The MRLA warned that without additional aid, one-third of Michigan restaurants would be forced to close within six months.

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Biba Adams

Biba Adams is a Detroit-based national freelance writer. Her work has been featured in Visit Detroit, Model D, VIBE, and more. She is currently working on her debut book, Scenes From a Renaissance: Detroit Hip-Hop 1996-2006.
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