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Hotel CEOs make a last-ditch plea for relief in letter to Trump

Execs from hotel chains are asking for an immediate injection of cash to save the industry.
Photograph: Shutterstock

With the election a little over two weeks away, the CEOs of Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and other hotel chains called on President Trump to provide immediate relief for their devastated industry.

In a letter sent to the White House Thursday, the executives urged the president to utilize unused funds from the Main Street Lending Program, claiming only a small fraction of the $600 billion available has been allocated.

“Unfortunately, there is broad recognition that the MSLP continues to be underutilized and prevents the hardest hit businesses it was intended to support from accessing the program due to overly restrictive terms. To date, only a small fraction of $600 billion in available loans have been utilized while the remaining funds—which are so desperately needed by industries like ours—sit idle and go unused,” the letter stated.

The executives point out that the health and economic crisis currently impacting the U.S. has “wreaked havoc” on the hotel industry. Although a number of the CEOs who signed their names represent major hotel brands, about 60% of hotels operate as small businesses and 50% are minority owned, they wrote.

The current unemployment rate in the hotel industry is 30% while the national average is 7.9%, they went on to say.

The letter concludes with this plea:

“Mr. President, we believe you have the power to call for immediate modifications to the MSLP to increase participation and help thousands of businesses that have been crippled by the pandemic through no fault of their own. We strongly urge you to use your executive authority to direct the Treasury to encourage the Federal Reserve to amend and expand the Main Street Lending Program. Your engagement is desperately needed to support struggling businesses, stem the impending wave of foreclosures, and save millions of jobs to ensure the health of the entire American economy.”

Among the 78 CEOs who signed the letter are Mark Hoplamazian of Hyatt, Elie Maalouf of InterContinental, Jonathan Tisch of Loews Hotels, Arne Sorenson of Marriott and Chris Nassetta of Hilton.

Copies of the letter went out to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as well.  

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