APRIL 9, 2020

Dear Members,

As we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 spread, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to reflect on the incredible partnerships and acts of goodwill occurring across the state. 

Restaurants are donating food to health care workers, local breweries and distilleries are producing hand sanitizer for those in need, sports teams are donating to local food banks, companies are hosting blood drives and hotels are partnering with local health care facilities to provide housing. 

This generosity and service is the spirit of this industry and of the great state of Arizona. I am truly honored to be among such incredible public servants and our AzLTA team is here to help you get through this challenging time. 

As discussed during a call this week with Senator Kyrsten Sinema, there are continued conversations on Capitol Hill about a fourth stimulus package and remedying the need to protect DMOs and CVBs that were unfortunately left out of the latest relief package. We appreciate Senator Sinema’s support of providing relief funding for these critical tourism entities. AzLTA, along with our national partners, is advocating for a remedy as quickly as possible. 

We recognize that this situation is evolving each day, but our team has captured the most recent news and developments. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

Sincerely,
Kim Grace Sabow
President & CEO

FEDERAL UPDATE

Today, the Senate failed to pass competing COVID-19 relief proposals via unanimous consent (UC), as both parties objected to the others proposal. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a straightforward, clean appropriation of an additional $250BN for the SBA PPP program. The Democrats presented another proposal.

We will continue to urge our Congressional delegation to make sure the next proposal contains much needed provisions to help our industry.

In other developments, The Federal Reserve announced this morning specifics on the various lending facilities established in the CARES Act to provide aid to small and mid-sized businesses as well as local governments.

The Main Street Lending Program is targeted at businesses (up to 10,000 employees and $2.5B in revenue) too large to qualify for PPP loans, offering loans ranging from $1M to $150M totaling up to $600B for the program. Companies that have received separate forgivable PPP loans will still be eligible to seek Main Street loans as well.

The TALF expansion makes, previously excluded, existing commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) debt eligible collateral for the program, injecting much needed liquidity into a market with $86B worth of hotel debt.

Additionally, the Department of the Treasury released an updated FAQ which provides some additional insights and guidance into the SBA PPP program. 

More information from the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Public Affairs is available here:

ACT NOW!

Now that Congress is negotiating the next relief package we need your help to amplify this message to your Member of Congress! Please use the links below to add your name in support of these changes and improvements to the CARES Act and to protect local tourism. We also ask that you share this link with your network to ensure our industry's voice is heard during this next phase of the debate.
AHLA
U.S. TRAVEL

SBA LOAN APPLICATIONS

The Paycheck Protection Program is now live! 
 
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.

The Small Business Administration also released its streamlined application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). With this new online portal, participants can now quickly identify whether they are eligible for disaster loan support.

STATE UPDATE

Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order this week allowing Arizona restaurants to repackage and sell grocery items they have on hand, including items not normally packaged and labeled for resale. The order comes in the wake of the Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to provide temporary flexibility for nutrition labeling of packaged food.
View Update
In addition, the Governor issued an Executive Order halting evictions for small businesses and non-profits that are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These commercial tenants are defined as businesses and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees and that are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. The order also requires the tenant to notify the landlord or property owner in writing with information on why they are unable to pay rent due to temporary financial hardship and acknowledge that the contractual terms of the lease remain in effect.  Commercial landlords shall consider deferring or adjusting rent payments for commercial tenants that are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

View Update
Please note, the Arizona Legislature originally planned to return on April 13th, but that has been postponed until it is safe for lawmakers and staff to return to the Capitol. 

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. In addition, AzLTA partnered with Local First Arizona for the “COVID-19 Resources for Indie Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts Webinar.” Kim Sabow provided an overview of the Hospitality for Hope program and ways rural hotels can get involved. 

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. 

AHLA FOUNDATION OFFERS SHORT-TERM JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Today, the Department of Labor announced that over 6.6 million individuals filed for unemployment, bringing the total number of applications to 17 million since the coronavirus pandemic started. 
 
As you well know, this pandemic has simply crippled our economy. With nearly 4 million hotel industry jobs eliminated or on the verge of elimination in the next few weeks, the AHLA Foundation is offering short-term job opportunities to help industry employees continue their education and stay connected during this difficult time. Please share these opportunities with your network to help our employees during this difficult time.

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
JOIN TODAY!
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