DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO-TV) – Iowa’s hospitality industry is one of the areas hardest hit in the state by the coronavirus.
The Iowa Restaurant Association said if the sector has any chances of surviving, it’s going to need money from the state.
Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Alcohol Beverages Division have already relaxed alcohol laws from the standpoint of sale and delivery to help out hospitality-based businesses.
Iowa Department of Revenue is doing tax deferrals for local restaurants and the state has put in a small business relief program.
But even with all this in place, Jessica Dunker, the President and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association said the industry will need more assistance.
“We can’t survive, unless we get large amounts of relief in the form of grants that will probably have to come at the federal and state level. We’ve probably already lost about 1,000 locations permanently across the state,” said Dunker.
She said they’ve seen an 84% drop in revenue, on average, and more than 80% of bar and restaurant owners have laid-off employees.
The Iowa Restaurant Association has put in place a hospitality relief fund where 100% of donations will go towards assisting those who may have been laid off and are struggling to get unemployment benefits.
To donate to the fund, you can visit their website.