WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29 – AAHOA President & CEO Cecil P. Staton issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the Helping Open Properties Endeavor (HOPE) Act of 2020, a bill to provide relief to small businesses, like hotels, who hold commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) loans. The legislation would require the Department of Treasury to establish a facility to guarantee certain preferred equity investments in CMBS borrowers impacted by COVID-19:
“Many of AAHOA’s members, the small business owners who run local hotels, use CMBS loans. This crisis hit them hard, and there is no other relief for them. While owners with traditional mortgages can seek forbearance through their community banks, those with CMBS loans must clear numerous hurdles just to begin a conversation about forbearance with a special loan servicer. We are optimistic that the HOPE Act will help bring real relief to small businesses like hotels. COVID-19 created a liquidity crisis for tens of thousands of hotel owners across the country. The steep decline in occupancy rates left them struggling to pay their employees and their mortgages. These businesses are in this situation through no fault of their own. If we are to see the millions of jobs the hospitality industry creates recover from this crisis, these businesses need to come out on the other side. The HOPE Act can help make that reality more likely, and we are grateful to Reps. Van Taylor and Al Lawson for introducing this legislation.”
AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world. The over 19,500 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.