Advocacy Groups Looking for Input and Support for Hospitality

Reopening of a small business activity after the covid-19 emergency, ended the lockdown and quarantine. A business sign that says now we are open support local businesses on cafe or restaurant hang on door at entrance. Close up of open sign on the window of shop or store.

Hospitality Minnesota surveyed its members in June to check the pulse on how the different hospitalitiy segments are doing. It was its third survey on the economic impact of the pandemic on both its members and nonmembers. Around 280 businesses (171 members; 109 nonmembers) provided information on how business is going for them right now. Early review of the data shows: 

·       Half of respondents indicate their business is still down 50% or more; 

·       Half have remained open with limited service; another 26% have re-opened partially; and 17% have reopened fully;

·       35% have been able to rehire their full staff;

·       67% said fed and state programs had some to significant impact on them; 

·       22% said consumer demand is meeting or exceeding capacity (44% say it’s well below capacity); 

·       36% indicate they are unlikely to make it another 6 months under current conditions (13% indicate they have less than a 3-month window); 

·       65% believe they will need additional support. 

Respondents also shared feedback about how the association can be the most helpful to their businesses, and Liz Rammer, CEO and president of Hospitality Minnesota, said in her bulleting to members, that they will be taking a close look at the feedback and shaping its advocacy efforts, communications and programming accordingly. Ben Wogsland, director of government relations for the group, said they have been able to help shape the conversations taking place at the state and local level about the needs of the hospitality industry during the pandemic. "Our members were very willing to reach out to the governor (and legislators) through direct advocacy, letters, calls, videos, and as an association we’ve participated in roundtables," he said, adding that it's been "all hands on deck and our members have helped out."

Another restaurant advocacy group, the Twin Cities Restaurant Coalition, made up of top independent restaurateurs in town,  officially launched earlier in the summer as an additional resource. Its mission statement reads, in part: "We are a collective voice to advocate for the health and prosperity of independent restaurants and bars with a culinary program in the Twin Cities through advocacy, shared knowledge and collaborative communication." 

During a webinar last week Gavin Kaysen of Soigné Hospitality said the restaurant industry needs the federal government to step in and provide the monetary resources needed to keep the industry afloat during the pandemic. For more information and to help advocate for independent restaurants, check out the resources at

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