The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association released a video Monday urging Floridians to support Florida’s restaurants.
The group estimates nearly 600,000 restaurant employees were laid off since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and 10,000 restaurants have closed.
“No industry has been hit harder by COVID-19 than the hospitality industry,” Carol Dover, President and CEO of the FRLA, said. “Florida is open for business, and our restaurants and hotels are eager to safely welcome guests and create those memorable experiences. Restaurants are the centers of our communities, and we hope you will dine in or take out to support your local restaurants, enabling them to stay open and keep their team members employed.”
In the video the group says after struggling with COVID-19 guidelines and financial loses, restaurants need the public support. The video said restaurants are going “above and beyond” to operate safely for guests and employees.
Coronavirus relief from the federal government could help out some of Florida’s restaurants. Included in the American Rescue Plan is $28.6 billion in relief grants for small to mid-size restaurants.
“Local restaurants are critical to business and our way of life here in Tampa, and the American Rescue Plan includes $25 billion in assistance solely for restaurants. They’ve been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, and these flexible, equitably distributed grants will help them get back on their feet and put the disaster behind them,” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said.
The bill also includes a $15 billion grant program for small businesses in need.
The FRLA is a non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. FRLA’s more than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, franchises, theme parks and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and promote Florida’s $111.7 billion hospitality industry, which represents 1.5 million employees.