The pandemic ripple effect continues across the food and beverage server industry, as more and more major cities across the nation - including some states - declare 'health emergency' status and order the shutting of all dining and bar locations. Ohio was among the very first to declare it Sunday evening, and has since seen a nearly 600% leap in unemployment benefit applications since last week.
This appears the emerging pattern in other states as well, with Connecticut reporting 30,000 claims filed since last Friday, compared to a prior average of between 3,000 and 3,500 a week.
The National Restaurant Association is predicting the unprecedented carnage is only just beginning, on Wednesday writing a letter to the White House and Congress detailing an estimated $225 billion in sales will be wiped out over the next three months, crucially prompting the loss of between five and seven million jobs.
Though by Monday top economists, including Goldman, were talking near-certain recession, we are already by Wednesday in Great Depression era territory in terms of national joblessness.
The Hill reports of the contents of the National Restaurant Association's letter to Trump as follows:
The full economic impact, according to the association, will be $675 billion because every dollar spent in restaurants generates an additional $2 elsewhere in the economy.
We are revising our business model to provide meals in different ways (takeout, delivery, safety-enhanced dine-in), but we are facing economic headwinds that will lead many restaurants to shut down operations, lay off workers, and end our service in our communities,” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs, wrote in the letter.
At the moment over 28 states and many more cities have shuttered restaurants, only allowing drive-thru or take-out service.
“We are revising our business model to provide meals in different ways (takeout, delivery, safety-enhanced dine-in),” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs, said in the letter.
“But we are facing economic headwinds that will lead many restaurants to shut down operations, lay off workers, and end our service in our communities,” he added.
The association is urging immediate tax and financial relief to mitigate the severity of economic devastation of the crisis, including the creation of a $145 billion Restaurant and Foodservice Industry Recovery Fund.
But in all it adds up to an over $455 billion in total federal aid package it's seeking due to coronavirus hit:
The association’s request includes creation of a $145 billion Restaurant and Foodservice Industry Recovery Fund to provide immediate liquidity to operators, $100 billion of federally-backed business interruption insurance and $135 million of disaster unemployment assistance.
The letter urged prompt action “within 15 days of enactment and provide grants with minimal procedural delay,” to stave off industry collapse and up to 7 million jobs lost.