APRIL 16, 2020

Dear Members,

This week, Governor Doug Ducey reached out to Arizona business and tourism leaders to begin conversation about how and when to safely reopen Arizona’s economy. The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association has been working closely with the Governor’s Office, Arizona Office of Tourism and the Arizona Commerce Authority to ensure our industry is receiving guidance, support and resources to weather the economic impact of this crisis.

AzLTA sent a letter to Governor Ducey seeking his support for short and long term action that will help with immediate cash flow issues and as well as position the state for broader tourism promotion when appropriate. In addition, we joined a coalition letter with fellow DMOs to House and Senate Leadership urging them to pass S.B. 1335, Tourism Marketing Authorities, when they reconvene the session. 

A special thank you to Choice Hotels for the invitation to speak to their owners council about the work our team is doing here in Arizona to provide resources and information to the industry. 

I would also like to thank Roger Dow, U.S. Travel’s President & CEO and Erik Hansen, Vice President, Government Relations, for providing an update on the current coronavirus pandemic, how Arizona tourism businesses can access relief through the CARES Act and what U.S. Travel is doing to get more relief for 501(c)6 organizations such as DMOs, CVBs and state tourism. 

If you missed today's live chat with U.S. Travel Association, we will host another tomorrow with Chip Rogers President and CEO of AHLA scheduled at 9:00am. 

Please do not hesitate to contact our team with questions. 

Sincerely,
Kim Grace Sabow
President & CEO

AZLTA WEB CHAT

Hospitality Industry Live Web Chat with Chip Rogers

Friday, April 17, 2020 | 9:00am

Join AzLTA for a live chat with Chip Rogers, President & CEO of AHLA to provide the latest legislative news on the CARES Act, Hospitality for Hope Initiative, and what state and local laws are being introduced that will help our industry prepare for an economic recovery response.
JOIN WEB CONFERENCE
Please submit questions in advance for this LIVECHAT to info@azlta.com

STATE UPDATE

Governor Doug Ducey asked leaders from Arizona’s lodging and business communities to provide their feedback on a plan for economic recovery. The letter seeks recommendations to help accelerate a business and economic recovery including incorporating public health guidance into everyday business practices, policy suggestions, regulatory reforms and other executive actions. 

Efforts to solicit feedback from business community leaders will be led by Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson and Arizona Office of Tourism Director Debbie Johnson.

The AzLTA team joined industry leaders across the state for a conference call with Governor Ducey to discuss the current state of the economic crisis and how we can help the industry recover. Although there is no definite timeline, the Governor wants to be prepared when there is a safe way to begin to reopen the economy. 

We will keep our members apprised of recommendations and guidance from the Governor’s Office as these conversations continue. 
VIEW LETTER

INDUSTRY RECOVERY PLAN

The AzLTA team is compiling suggestions from members about policy or regulatory changes that would help the industry recover. Any idea or recommendation is appreciated both for short-term relief and long-term recovery.
 
Thank you to those who have provided input by phone and email. Please send your policy suggestions to Ricardo Luna.

FEDERAL UPDATE

Congressional leadership has been unable to reach an agreement on additional economic relief and the Paycheck Protection Program has officially reached its cap. We are urging Congress to take immediate action to provide more resources for the program. 

Reports have also suggested that applicants to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is intended to provide loans of up to $2 million to small businesses, may only receive loans of $25,000 to $35,000 due to high demand.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) also announced that the U.S. House of Representatives would not reconvene until May 4, though it could return earlier to pass emergency legislation if necessary. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on Tuesday afternoon the same return date for the Senate.


The AzLTA team continues to reach out to our Congressional delegation about the importance of including Destination Marketing Organizations and Convention and Visitor Bureaus in the list of eligible companies for the paycheck protection program. 


AzLTA joined AHLA, AHLA Partner State Associations and AAHOA urging Treasury Sec. Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Powell, as part of the new “Main Street” lending facility, to create a commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market relief fund with a specific focus on the hotel industry and its dire need for relief in this sector.

The goal of this lending facility would be to allow hotel owners to keep current on CMBS loans and avoid foreclosure so that our valued workforce would have a place to return when the coronavirus pandemic subsides. It would also forestall the impending debt crisis in the hotel CMBS market and prevent it from rippling out into other areas. Without action, the country faces a potentially catastrophic prolonged impact on jobs and tax revenues as nearly 30% of hotel debt is backed by CMBS loans.


To view the letter, click here.

Lastly, the White House has named travel and hospitality as an industry group that will work on forging a path to economic recovery. The Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups are comprised of major U.S. industries including hospitality, heath care, financial services, food and beverage, retail, tech, manufacturing, and others.

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Although the Paycheck Protection Program has reached its cap, it is advised the businesses still apply for the program so they are in the queue when additional resources are added. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.

TAKE ACTION: ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR PPP

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has reached the $350 Billion cap on its funding set by Congress in the CARES Act

This is on the heels of the Senate failing to reach unanimous consent on competing proposals to recapitalize the PPP funds last week. While negotiations are ongoing, what we know is that it will likely be next week before there is a bi-partisan agreement to increase funding for this program.

The PPP is vital to retaining our employees and to keeping our industry's small businesses solvent. 

We urge you to join us in asking Congress to act NOW and reauthorize funds, so the SBA can continue to provide relief to Americans across the country.
SEND A LETTER TODAY!

CARES ACT READINESS PROGRAM

The Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Small Business Association and Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry have created the CARES Act Readiness Program for Small Businesses. This training program – which is offered at no cost– helps both novice and experienced borrowers successfully access relief funds.
 
Learn more at: http://caresactaz.com 

HOSPITALITY FOR HOPE

In an effort to support communities across the country during this unprecedented public health crisis, AHLA in partnership with local associations including AzLTA, announced Hospitality for Hope to connect hotel properties with the health community, struggling to find housing and support as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows. 

The Hospitality for Hope initiative is gaining statewide and national attention. We have been able to connect health care facilities and hotels across the state. 

The outpouring of support from Arizona hotels and resorts has been incredible and our team is communicating with state leaders and health care organizations about the options available. 

IN THE NEWS

MEMBER RESOURCES

AzLTA is committed to providing our members with up-to-date resources, webinars, information and recommendations from our state and national partners. Daily updates will be shared our website so please reference it often and share it with your network.
AzLTA Website
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
SBA COVID-19 Resources
Arizona Business Resources
Arizona Together
Arizona Tourism and Hospitality Employment Opportunities
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