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Vermont Restaurant Leaders Meet with Congressman Peter Welch
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, facilitated a roundtable discussion with Vermont restauranteurs and Congressman Peter Welch to express gratitude for his ongoing commitment to the hospitality industry and his efforts to secure federal aid throughout the pandemic.
The event, held at Hotel Vermont in Burlington, brought together several stakeholders from the Vermont restaurant industry and are members of the Vermont Independent Restaurants (VTIR) coalition, a partner of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.
“Congressman Welch has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Vermont restaurant industry,” stated Amy Spear, Vermont Chamber of Commerce VP of Tourism. “We look forward to his continued partnership during his tenure in the Senate and ongoing efforts to ensure the vitality of the Vermont tourism sector.”
VTIR has worked with Congressman Welch on several policy initiatives in recent years, including the original passage of the Restaurant Relief Package, and the replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. While in the House, Congressman Welch also supported the reauthorization of Brand USA and pushed for the support of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP provided businesses in Vermont with more than 21,000 loans totaling upwards of $1.7 billion. The first round of PPP assisted nearly 12,000 Vermont small businesses, helping save as many as 114,000 jobs.
“Local and federal funding allocated to restaurants for pandemic recovery has improved the chances of many of our businesses to survive. While too many of us are still struggling to return to pre-pandemic operations, we are grateful for the Senator-Elect’s representation in Congress and are reassured by his steadfast support of our work,” stated Leslie McCrorey Wells of Pizzeria Verita and Trattoria Delia.
“The hospitality industry is at the heart of our downtowns,” said Congressman Welch. “From beloved local restaurants to the hotels that bring tourists to our towns and villages, these businesses are an essential part of Vermont’s economy, and they need our support. Through the COVID-19 relief packages, we provided critical aid for our restaurants, performance venues, and hotels, but we can do more to help businesses get through these challenging times. I’ll keep working to help our local establishments thrive in the Senate.”