Pa. restaurants ask for help as they’re impacted by pandemic and mitigation efforts

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — During a hearing to talk about the negative impacts on Pa. restaurants by the Commonwealth’s mitigation policies on Wednesday, the president of the Pa. Restaurant and Lodging Association said there is information that indicated almost half of its members are likely to go out of business in six months unless they get some sort of assistance.

This can mean as many as 12,000 restaurants would close and 260,000 employees would be out of a job.

Now the industry says mitigation efforts didn’t work to change the outcome of COVID-19 in the state, but unfairly targeted them.

“We’ve got to get the restaurant open at safe and sensible levels like many states around the country have done, virtually all states more so than Pennsylvania,” says John Longstreet, president of Pa. Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Because to a person every restaurateur who testified along with me will tell you they don’t want handouts.”

The restaurant industry has put together some packages of relief designed to help, but lawmakers need to approve them.

It’s also anticipated the industry will ask for a chunk of future federal Cares Act money coming to the state.

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