The restaurant industry estimates it will lose $225 billion, 25% of its annual revenue, if the industry is shut down for three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The estimate is included in a four-page letter the National Restaurant Association sent to Congress and the White House, requesting aid for the industry in a $1 trillion economic stimulus package under discussion in Congress. 

NRA estimates 5 million to 7 million jobs will be lost because of the restaurant shutdown, which could have a broader impact of $675 billion on the U.S. economy, based on an estimate that every dollar spent in restaurants generates $2 elsewhere in the economy. 

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“We are revising our business model to provide meals in different ways (takeout, delivery, safety- enhanced dine-in), but we are facing economic headwinds that will lead many restaurants to shut down operations, lay off workers, and end our service in our communities,” the letter says. 

Among the association's proposals is a $145 billion grant program to help restaurants to “pay employees, maintain service operations, meet transactional and financial obligations.”

The association also is asking for special loan assistance, $100 billion in business interruption insurance coverage, and $130 million in disaster unemployment assistance to help out-of-work restaurant employees. 

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