Kentucky’s restaurant and bar industry is calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Congress members to pass the RESTAURANTS Act.
During a virtual call Friday morning, prominent independent restaurant advocates outlined the impacts of the new restrictions put in place this week by Governor Andy Beshear. The restrictions saw restaurants go back to 25% capacity indoors; allow for 100% outdoor capacity, as long as seats are socially distanced; and forced the closure of bars for the next two weeks.
The advocates believe the restrictions affect around 203,000 Kentucky residents who face uncertain employment prospects as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown enters the sixth month.
Edward Lee, the owner of 610 Magnolia and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, says they applaud McConnell on introducing the HEALS Act that provides more PPP funding for restaurants. He adds the PPP funding is not enough to help during the restrictions and says his revenues have dropped by 75%.
Lee adds he doesn’t know a single restaurant in Kentucky that can survive a few more months of restrictions, like the ones in place.
Lee says the RESTAURANTS Act is a bi-partisan bill and has support in both chambers of Congress.
Ouita Michel, the owner of Ouita Michel’s Family of Restaurants, says the Commonwealth could see up to $1.9 billion in benefits from the RESTAURANTS Act.
Michel adds anyone interested in helping can click here to send a note to McConnell to show your support in getting this act passed. The Independent Restaurant Coalition claims 11 million employees will lose their jobs if the act is not passed.