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December 2019 News Tour Operator News Tourism Industry Travel Agent Travel News

Travel Industry Locked Out of EIDL Program

Travel businesses have been locked out of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

Congress added funding to the program, which offers loans of $2 million to small businesses and is administered through the Small Business Administration when it passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. However, the loans are now limited to only U.S. agriculture businesses.

The U.S. Travel Association said that this will further hurt the nation’s small businesses.

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“Excluding major segments of the economy from emergency relief funding not only hurts small businesses and workers, but also jeopardizes the strength of the broader economic recovery,” said U.S. Travel Association executive vice president for public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes.

“Nonprofit entities—such as destination marketing organizations and arts and culture groups—are essential for driving consumer demand to their regions, and therefore will be major engines of the recovery,” Barnes added. “They, too, have suffered severe economic hits that have necessitated layoffs and furloughs in almost every case, and without their work to bring customers back, many small businesses will not survive even once recovery begins. We urge the Small Business Administration to open the EIDL application process to non-profit groups that play a vital role in economic development, and to non-agricultural small businesses.”

Businesses continue to struggle to get much-needed assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

According to a report on NPR, many businesses are still waiting for PPP loans. Research from the University of Chicago and MIT found that just 15 percent of the establishments in the regions most affected by declines in hours worked and business shutdowns received PPP funding. In the first round of funding, just 9 percent of the money went to hotels and restaurants, some of the hardest-hit industries.