Smart Talk: The hospitality industry hit hard by COVID restrictions seek aid from state

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Airdate: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Industry-wide layoffs, financial losses and threats of continued closures have hospitality owners appealing for help.

Restaurants and lodging organizations have been hit particularly hard during the pandemic. With little end in sight, they are petitioning the state for a financial life raft.

According to industry representatives, restaurants and bars are barely managing losses under viral mitigation restrictions imposed by Gov. Tom Wolf. Restaurants are operating at 50 percent indoor capacity, with no bar seating, and a strict liquor sale cutoff at 11pm.

Without any aid, it is estimated that nearly half of all Pennsylvania restaurants won’t survive. 

John Longstreet is the president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association and he appears on Smart Talk Wednesday to discuss what is needed to turn the corner of this crisis. Joining him are Jim Fris, President & CEO, PJW Restaurant Group, the owners and operators of PJ Whelihans, The Pour House and The Chop House, and Chris Sirianni, owner and operator of the Brewerie at Union Station, Erie, Pennsylvania. 


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