ATLANTA, Ga, Jan. 10 – AAHOA, the nation’s largest association of hotel owners, reiterated
its call for an end to the partial government shutdown and highlighted the effects for small
business owners in the hospitality industry. The shutdown, now in its nineteenth day, forced the
closure of several government agencies, limited government travel, closed national parks, and
forced essential personnel at agencies such as the TSA to work without pay.
“The longer this shutdown drags on, the greater impact it will have on certain sections of the
hospitality industry and the broader American economy,” said AAHOA President and CEO Chip
Rogers. “Travel expenses for employees at affected agencies cannot be paid during the shutdown
which means less revenue for the hospitality sector. Many of our national parks and museums are
closed, and hotels surrounding them will see dwindling occupancy rates which impact hoteliers,
their employees, and their families. Visitors to our parks spend an average of $20 million per day
in neighboring communities, but with the parks closed, that money stays home. Furloughed
government workers will likely postpone or cancel leisure travel. Even travel itself will become
increasingly frustrating as more unpaid TSA employees and air traffic controllers call in sick.
“This shutdown is impacting business development and job creation. Hoteliers with projects in
the pipeline who cannot finalize SBA loans will be stuck in limbo. For small businesses, these
loans allow them to get reasonable interest rates, but with the agency shuttered, lenders just
won’t complete the transactions. We’re talking about an agency that guarantees about 5,000
loans per month, so there’s going to be a significant backlog when the government reopens
which will slow the creation of new businesses. Employers are also struggling with questions
about hiring and employment law, for the E-Verify system is offline as a result of the shutdown.
Employers risk investing time and money into training unauthorized workers and falling afoul of
state employment laws.
“Surely there is an answer to both improve border security and re-open the federal government.
The American people expect leaders from both parties to work non-stop to resolve this issue.
Simply walking away from the negotiating table is not acceptable. Americans deserve better,”
AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world. The over 18,500 AAHOA members
own almost one in every two hotels in the United States. With billions of dollars in property
assets and hundreds of thousands of employees, AAHOA members are core economic
contributors in virtually every community. AAHOA is a proud defender of free enterprise and the
foremost current-day example of realizing the American dream.