NCRLA Calls for Critically Needed Support for North Carolina Hospitality Industry
The Blueprint for Revival of the North Carolina Hospitality Industry serves as a survival and recovery plan for the state’s restaurants and hotels
RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 9, 2021) The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) today sent its Blueprint for Revival of the North Carolina Hospitality Industry to Governor Roy Cooper and members of the North Carolina General Assembly. The comprehensive policy and legislative plan outlines specific and immediate actions the state should take to stabilize the industry in the short-term and set the foundation for long-term rebuilding.
“State and local government mandates have shut down and reduced capacity at more than 22,000 restaurants, hotels and bars across our state,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO of NCRLA. “Since the hospitality industry was first shuttered, NCRLA has led the call at the federal, state and local level for policies that will allow us not to profit, but simply to survive this pandemic.” Minges added, “Despite losing more jobs and revenue than any other industry in our state, recovery and relief packages have come up short. This blueprint outlines relief measures to address the unique challenges for the hospitality industry.”
The North Carolina hospitality industry has suffered disproportionately during COVID-19 and relief has not been commensurate with losses. Restaurants, hotels and bars across the state posted a year-over-year decline of $4.52 billion in taxable sales between March and December 2020, while other sectors statewide grew by $8.15 billion in taxable sales volume during the same period. The leisure and hospitality sector experienced job losses of 20 percent, which accounts for 75 percent of all jobs lost in the state during the pandemic – yet North Carolina restaurants, hotels and bars secured less than 5.5 percent of federal and state relief provided to businesses in the state.
The Blueprint for Revival focuses on several areas where the legislature can act to make significant changes to support restaurants, hotels and bars of every size and operational model in communities across the state. These areas include short-term relief to restart the hospitality industry by:
- Establishing a NC hospitality assistance program to provide $300 million in stimulus to NC restaurants, bars and hotels that have experienced a significant decline in annual taxable sales revenue during COVID-19
- Property tax payment flexibility for hospitality businesses that incurred significant revenue losses during the pandemic
- Property tax revaluation legislation to allow commercial properties that experienced diminished real estate value due to COVID-19 to request a property tax revaluation ahead of the normal revaluation schedule
- ABC permit extension to suspend annual fees for renewal applications and registration fees for on-premise permittees including restaurants, hotels and bars
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) tax exemption and expense deductibility to allow the NC state tax code to mirror the federal tax code
- Workforce development funds to support the continuation of Count On Me NC training for the hospitality industry and funding to support work-based learning and national credentialing for high school students enrolled in industry-sponsored hospitality programs
- Sales tax exemption for the purchase of personal protective equipment and structural enhancements required to protect public health during COVID-19
- Increased funding for tourism promotion at the state and local level
“The hospitality industry is one of tenacity, innovation and dedication,” said Minges. “We are looking to policymakers not only for support for our short-term survival, but to create a long-term framework that sustains our role as a leading employer and a key part of our state’s economy.
Download the complete Blueprint for Revival of the North Carolina Hospitality Industry: A Survival and Recovery Plan for NC Restaurants and Hotels HERE.
The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association serves to advance and protect the interests of more than 20,000 businesses that employ 11 percent of the state’s workforce and generate more than $27.3 billion in sales annually. www.ncrla.org
North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association