Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Restaurateurs across the country call on Congress to end government shutdown, raise debt ceiling

The National Restaurant Association announced the launch of a broad-based grassroots effort among its members, urging Congress to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling in order to maintain economic confidence.

“The restaurant industry provides opportunities to over 13 million Americans, and the ability to sustain business while maintaining consumer confidence is greatly impacted by our nation’s economic health,” said Scott Defife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, the National Restaurant Association. “The debate over government funding and the debt ceiling, while important, is cutting into restaurant operators’ bottom-line every day the government remains closed. The shutdown is negatively impacting the livelihood of our restaurant customers and our workers. Congress must act now to end the government shutdown and restore economic certainty.”

The NRA is directing its members to  America’s Restaurant Advocates initiative, an industry-wide, national grassroots advocacy program that connects restaurateurs with elected officials on issues critical to the industry. The Association is encouraging restaurant operators to sign a letter and share their personal stories with their elected officials.

Ahead of the Oct. 1 shutdown, the NRA, along with more 250 other organizations, called on Congress to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government into the next fiscal year, raise the debt limit, reform entitlement programs, and tackle tax reform. In a joint letter, the groups said that government shutdowns can cause even more uncertainty in a fragile economy.

In his recent Economist Notebook, the NRA’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy noted that both consumers and restaurant operators already had low expectations for the economy, and the shutdown will only add to the uncertainty in the months ahead.

Only 23 percent of restaurant operators said they expected the economy to improve in six months, according to the NRA’s September 2013 Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey. Another NRA survey found that only 21 percent of consumers said they expected the nation’s economy to be better in the next six months. 

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