Trump says HIS hotels should get government bailout
Trump says HIS hotels should get government bailout because coronavirus has been ‘devastating’ – as he urges Governors to let them open up again ‘quickly’
- The president was asked Sunday about whether hotels will be offered help
- Trump said the closure of hotels ‘is a big problem’, adding that ‘even if it is owned by a big chain, that is devastating’; he pledged to look at the issue
- Democrats and Republicans are said to be nearing agreement on approving extra money to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic
- 17 Trump properties are reported to have closed due to the pandemic
- Trump had previously admitted the outbreak was doing enormous damage, and again did not rule out seeking aid to help keep his company afloat
- The hotel industry has been devastated by the slowdown in travel
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Donald Trump on Sunday pledged to look into helping hotels left ‘devastated’ by closures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The president – who himself owns a number of hotels across the country – was asked about whether they will be offered help at his daily briefing.
After mentioning his ‘wonderful place’ in Doral, Florida, Trump said the closure of hotels ‘is a big problem’. Asked about whether the small business relief would cover hotels, Trump replied: ‘Even if it is owned by a big chain, that is devastating.
‘If they have 200 hotels in the country and they are closed. We are going to be looking at it. It is a big problem. It is a lot of people employed.’
Democrats and Republicans are near agreement on approving extra money to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and could seal a deal as early as Monday, Trump said Sunday.
An agreement on help for small businesses would end a stalemate over Trump’s request to add $250 billion to a small-business loan program established last month as part of a $2.3 trillion coronavirus economic relief plan. That fund has already been exhausted.
Trump said Sunday: ‘You have hotels that are massive buildings but if you have no income coming in…they have to be closed down. It is a terrible thing.
‘I don’t know that they are working on that specific problem but it is a problem they should be talking about.’
Discussing owners who go from ‘having a successful hotel’ with thousands of employees ‘to all of a sudden closing it down’, Trump added: ‘Hopefully they will be able to open up relatively quickly.’
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President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks on the Coronavirus pandemic during a coronavirus task force news conference at the White House on Sunday
The entrance to the Trump National Doral resort is shown in Doral, Fla. Trump on Sunday pledged to look into helping hotels left ‘devastated’ by closures in the wake of COVID-19
Democratic leaders want more money for small businesses but with additional safeguards to ensure that credit reaches businesses in underserved communities.
They also sought more funds for state and local governments and hospitals, as well as food aid for the poor.
The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 750,000 infections and over 40,000 deaths. State governors are sparring with Trump over when to reopen their economies.
According to The Washington Post, 17 Trump properties have closed due to the pandemic, meaning the Trump Organization is losing around $650,000 each day for the organization.
The other Trump properties that remain open are operating at a ‘fraction’ of their capacity.
Layoffs and furloughs occurred at hotels in New York and Washington DC. 75 per cent of employees at the Trump Hotel in Chicago have been let go, while 200 layoffs occurred at the President’s hotel in Toronto, Canada.
It was revealed last week that Trump’s Virginia vineyard could be eligible for a federal bailout under the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill he signed into law last month.
The fine print of the bill, which was passed by Congress on March 26, includes language that would the make the winery eligible for aid extended to growers and producers of ‘specialty crops,’ which includes grapes used to make wine.
Trump Winery, which is located outside Charlottesville, is suffering amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The vineyard has limited the hours of its tasting room, and a hotel on the grounds has been closed through May 19.
And Trump himself last month refused to rule out using federal funds to help rescue his businesses.
‘Let’s just see what happens, because we have to save some of these great companies,’ he said on March 22, when asked specifically during a news conference if his companies would forgo such aid.
After Trump refused to say whether his companies would seek aid, Democrats negotiated to add restrictions to the stimulus bill before it passed Congress preventing the president and his family from personally benefiting.
Before Trump was president he showed a willingness to pursue such types of relief.
His two New Jersey golf courses previously received an agriculture tax credit by growing hay and using grass-eating goats to help maintain the grounds, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2016.
In 2005, he received a $17 million insurance payment for hurricane damage at his private Mar-A-Lago club, though an Associated Press investigation in 2016 found little evidence of large-scale damage.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that The Trump Organization has laid off around 1,500 of its staff due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Trump had previously admitted the outbreak was doing enormous damage, and again did not rule out seeking aid to help keep his company afloat.
‘I wouldn’t say it’s thriving when you decide to close down your hotels and your businesses, no,’ he stated. ‘It’s hurting Hilton and it’s hurting all of the great hotel chains all over the world. It’s hurting everybody.
‘I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels. Everybody knew I had hotels when I got elected. They knew I was a successful person when I got elected, so it’s one of those things,’ he added.
The hotel industry has been devastated by the slowdown in travel. Many hotels are closed. For the week ending March 21, occupancy rates plummeted 56 per cent to an average of 30 per cent. Last year, occupancy rates averaged near 70 per cent.
The industry was mainly looking for help for small businesses in the stimulus bill.
Most U.S. hotels are operated by franchisees, and 33,000 of the 56,000 hotels in the U.S. are classified as small businesses. Those hotels will be eligible for loans from the Small Business Administration. The package also contains $454 billion in loans for larger businesses that have been hurt by the virus.
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