Industry president: Iowa bars, restaurants needs aid after losing $1B during pandemic

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO-TV) – Owners of Iowa restaurants and bars say they need more state and federal help right now in order to keep their businesses afloat.

Iowa Restaurant and Bar Association President Jessica Dunker said the industry has already lost $1 billion since the governor first ordered establishments closed back in March. Business owners have had to navigate other capacity and hours restrictions since then.

“The industry is on the precipice of devastation. We continue to believe that we’re going to have at least 1000 locations that are gone by March 1 of 2021,” Dunkerssaid

Dunker says delivery and carryout orders have not been enough to fill the gap. She says additional help can be something as simple as the federal goverrment allowing businesses to take out more pay check protection loans.

“Our biggest frustation right now is when that CARES Act money was approved, and the PPP money was set aside, there’s more money that was set aside. It’s not like we need even to have them go out and approve new money, we just need the ability to have a second hit on it, and be able to go ahead and find a way to pay employees, keep people employed and pay some of our other bills,” Dunker said.

She added the state could also forgive liquor license fees for the months that bars couldn’t use them and offering spoilage reimbursement for those who didn’t have time to cancel their food and drink orders when they were forced to shut down.

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