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Letter to President Trump & Congressional Leaders

Updated: Mar 31


March 20, 2020



President Donald Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,

NW Washington, D.C. 20500


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House of Representatives

United States Capitol Washington,

DC 20515


The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Mr. President, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader McConnell:


The Airport Restaurant & Retail Association (ARRA) and Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) represent a $10 billion industry made up of firms of varying sizes, including many small and local businesses which contribute $2.5 billion to airport revenue streams. Together these businesses - which include restaurants, gift shops and retail stores - employ more than 125,000 workers in U.S. airports and are a vital part of the airline passenger’s travel experience and a major revenue source on which airports depend for their operations, development and bond financing.


As has so much of the U.S. workforce, member businesses of our organizations – many of which are minority and women-owned - have been seriously impacted by the rapid decline in airline bookings and passenger counts which are falling at unprecedented rates. As states and municipalities continue to close restaurants and non-essential businesses, including at airports, to help contain the spread of COVID-19 our members are disproportionately impacted and are suffering so significantly financially that many may not be able to continue operations. If immediate action is not taken our members’ ability to retain and pay employees, as well as pay rents to airports will almost certainly come to a halt.


For these reasons, and as Congress and the Administration work to mitigate the economic and public health implications of this unprecedented pandemic, we urge you to include financial relief and assistance to airport concessionaires to ensure business continuity, secure loans and make debt service payments.

Specifically:

  • Provide $2.5 billion for full rent abatement for airport concessions.

  • Provide low-interest or no interest loans and loan guarantees in the amount of $3 billion for airport concessionaires to ensure their ability to stay in business, minimize layoffs and continue to pay employees, and for other operating expenses.

  • Provide $3 billion in direct capital support for the outlay of capital that will be required for businesses to get back on their feet. For example construction to support business growth and employment, at a time when businesses have had little to no income for an extended period.

Finally, we respectfully request that our members - the businesses and individuals that support the transportation, travel and hospitality industries – are included as part of any aviation relief program that materializes in upcoming response legislation.


Thank you for your leadership and attention to this matter. We sincerely hope you will consider these requests to ensure our businesses remain open during this national emergency and stand ready to be of assistance in any and all ways possible.



Sincerely,





Pat Murray

Board Chair

Airport Restaurants & Retail Association

John Clark

Board Chair

Airport Minority Advisory Council

Rob Wigington

Executive Director

Airport Restaurants & Retail Association



Anthony Barnes

Chief Operating Officer

Airport Minority Advisory Council



cc:

Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury

Honorable Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic Leader

Honorable Kevin M

cCarthy, House Republican Leader


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Morton Grove, IL 60053

Email : info@arra-airports.com

Tel: 847-324-7883