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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

LaHood Joins Bicameral, Bipartisan Group to Introduce Bill to Support Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Industries

March 2, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. House of Representatives Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Tom Rice (SC-7) joined a bicameral and bipartisan group to unveil the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021, legislation that would provide comprehensive relief and recovery measures for the convention, trade show, entertainment, travel, and hospitality industries and their workers.

The legislation would stimulate the economy by creating new recovery incentives for hospitality and trade shows, extend the employee retention tax credit to reduce layoffs and keep Americans employed, create a perishable food and beverage credit to help small businesses cover costs of inventory lost during COVID closures, and provide a tax credit for middle-class families to jumpstart travel when safe.

Reps. LaHood and Rice joined Democrat Reps. Steven Horsford (NV-04) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) to introduce the legislation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and state-mandated closures continue to negatively impact communities and industries across Illinois’ 18th district, especially our hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors,” said Congressman LaHood. “As Illinois and our country reopen, this bipartisan bill will give these disproportionately affected businesses the support they need to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit tourism and hospitality in South Carolina especially hard,” said Congressman Rice. “As the country re-opens safely, we must work to return to pre-COVID levels of economic growth and employment as quickly as possible. I am happy to support this bill that will spur recovery in this crucial industry.”

The Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021 is endorsed by U.S. Travel, the American Gaming Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Restaurant Association, and a number of other associations and coalitions focused on hospitality and tourism. Legislative text and endorsements and a comprehensive summary of the bill can be found HERE.

Last year, Rep. LaHood joined a group to introduce the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2020 to address the significant challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industries in Illinois and across the country. The travel economy shrank by $492.3 billion in 2020, and spending declined by 42% over the year. No industry has lost more jobs during this pandemic than leisure and hospitality, and out of all jobs lost nationwide, 39% were from leisure and hospitality. The decline in travel spending has caused federal, state, and local tax revenues to decline by over $64.0 billion over the course of 2020, a 36% decrease from the previous year.

Specifically, the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021 would:

  • Support the convention and trade show industries by establishing a tax credit for the cost of attending or hosting a convention, business meeting, or trade show in the United States between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2024.
  • Extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit from July 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022.
  • Restore the Entertainment Business Expense Deduction for three years by amending the tax code.
  • Support the restaurant industry by establishing a tax credit for restaurants or food service businesses that would cover any cost associated with reopening or increasing service at an establishment forced to close down or reduce operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic—including any renovation, remediation, testing, or labor cost needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The credit would be effective between the date of enactment and December 31, 2022.
  • Provide a modest tax credit for qualified travel expenses for many Americans.
  • Provide a temporary credit for unmerchantable inventory costs for small businesses that were lost due to necessary precautions to halt public gatherings.