Rep. Davis Statement on the Subcommittee on Select Revenue within Committee on Ways & Means on Restaurants in America during the COVID-19 Pandemic


September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

Washington, DC - The restaurant industry is one of the hardest-hit industries by the dual health and economic crises.  The workers. The owners. The suppliers.  All have lost.  In Chicago, restaurants undergird the economy of entire neighborhoods. Chinatown. Greektown. Little Italy.  Downtown. They are all hurting.  The traditional soul food eateries are basically wiped out, like MacArthur’s or Wallace’s Catfish Corner. If a big restaurant like Lawry’s lacks the resources to continue, these smaller businesses have little chance.

The workers who used to make minimum wage now have no wage. They have no other place to turn but to the government. They don’t have savings, or stocks, or 401ks. Workers line one young worker from Chicago named Kymani was paid in cash, which both lessened his take home pay and excluded him from unemployment benefits.

The House passed critical policies to help restaurants and workers over 4 months ago – the enhanced Employee Retention Tax Credit, new Economic Impact Payments, expanded paid family and medical leave, and critical childcare tax credits. Yet, the Senate Republicans refuse to help restaurants and workers.  We need to work together to ensure there is a safety net for the industry.