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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Coalition says many restaurants will fail without immediate aid

The omicron surge has led to another huge drop in business for restaurants around the country.

Erika Polmar is the executive director of the Portland-led Independent Restaurant Coalition. She told “Think Out Loud” that the country has lost 100,000 restaurants and could easily lose tens of thousand more if they don’t get relief from the government.

Seats sit empty at a restaurant at The Waterfront of Vancouver in March 2020, just as the pandemic began.

Troy Brynelson / OPB

“At this point, 80 percent of businesses that didn’t get the RRF say they’re in danger of permanently closing. To make a percentage seem a little more real, that’s about 141,000 restaurants nationwide,” she said.

Polmar said some of your favorite restaurants may seem to be doing fine from the outside, but there’s more going on.

“We’re really good at making everything look fabulous. We’re like ducks: Everything’s smooth on the top of the water, and we’re paddling like hell underneath.”

The restaurant coalition is pushing Congress and the Biden administration to put more grant money into the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to prevent the loss of businesses and jobs.

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