LaHood Leads Effort to Revive Hospitality and Tourism Industries
Washington, D.C.—Representatives Darin LaHood (IL-18), Steven Horsford (NV-04), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) today introduced the bipartisan Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act to revitalize the tourism and hospitality industries, which have been severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A companion to the U.S. Senate legislation introduced by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Keven Cramer (R-N.D.), the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act will provide comprehensive relief for the convention, entertainment, hospitality, and travel industries and their workers by creating new recovery incentives and enhancing the employee retention tax credit until frequent travel and tourism safely resumes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and state-mandated closures continue to wreak havoc on communities and industries across Illinois’ 18th district, especially our hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors,” said Rep. LaHood. “Congress cannot sit on the sidelines any longer while businesses continue to struggle. This bipartisan bill will give these disproportionally affected businesses the support they need to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
“The hospitality, travel and tourism industries employ nearly 30 percent of Southern Nevada’s workers and are the lifeblood of our state’s economy. These sectors face unprecedented hardships amid the COVID-19 pandemic and have made every effort to keep their employees and customers safe as they fight to stay in business,” said Congressman Horsford. “I’m proud to introduce the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act to give them and their workers a fighting chance as we navigate these challenging times.”
“If we don’t pass an economic relief package soon, our economy, including our local hospitality industry, will be severely damaged for years to come. The tax credits provided in our Hospitality and Commerce Jobs Recovery Act would provide much-needed revenue to those businesses so that they can preserve jobs and come back stronger than ever,” said Congressman Panetta. “This type of legislation is vital to protect the 22,000 travel and tourism employees who call the Central Coast home.”
“Travel is by far the industry hardest hit by the ongoing fallout of the pandemic—accounting for 42 percent of all jobs lost in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at the U.S. Travel Association. “Without recovery measures like this bill, the industry is expected to take at least 5 years to recover to pre-pandemic levels of employment and economic activity. By targeting tax incentives on the areas that need the most help—including in the meetings and events and entertainment sectors—the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act will provide a significant boost to rebuilding travel jobs, helping to ensure the millions of Americans that rely on travel for income can get the financial stability they need. We thank Representatives Horsford, LaHood, and Panetta for taking a bold stand on behalf of America’s travel workforce.”
“The bipartisan Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act, introduced thanks to the continued leadership by Representatives Horsford and LaHood, is exactly what the hotel industry needs to help recover, bring back jobs, and reignite a continued investment in the communities they serve. The pandemic has all but decimated the hotel industry, with business and leisure travel grinding to a near halt and occupancy rates hitting record lows. Our data shows that 7 in 10 hoteliers won’t make it another six months without further federal assistance given the current drop in projected travel demand. That will have a ripple effect throughout our communities for years to come,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “Now, with the new surge in COVID-19 cases, we expect fewer Americans to travel this holiday season and we are incredibly worried about the coming months and what the drop in demand will mean for the industry and the millions of employees we have been unable to bring back. Our industry’s priorities have always focused on retaining and rehiring our workforce, and the tax incentives provided in this bill will alleviate some of the strain felt by the hospitality industry during this crisis and allow us, and the broader economy, to move towards recovery.”
“We applaud Reps. LaHood and Horsford for their commitment to job recovery especially in the hospitality and commerce sectors,” said Peter Pantuso, president & CEO of the American Bus Association. “Few industries have been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic as millions of people find themselves furloughed or unemployed, and the economy is losing hundreds of billions of dollars because people are not traveling right now. The men and women who rely on travel and tourism need help from Congress and they need it now.”
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a tremendous challenge to both public health and the economy, and no industry in the U.S. has been more severely impacted than the travel and hospitality sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in travel and tourism has fallen by 23.9% across the nation this year.
The Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act would address the significant challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industries as the U.S. continues to work toward recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act 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, 2021 and December 31, 2023.
- Make improvements to the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
- Restore the Entertainment Business Expense Deduction.
- Support the restaurant industry by establishing a tax credit for restaurants or food service businesses, covering 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. 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.