CT Restaurant Association says financial security risks being wiped out by Delta variant

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Connecticut Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association and 50 other state restaurant association partners have sent a letter to congressional leaders for a speedy replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Connecticut has more than 2,000 pending applications that total more than $489 million in stabilization funding that would be addressed by the proposed $60 billion replenishment bills.

The local restaurant industry says its financial security risks being wiped out by the Delta variant.

“Over the past three or four months, everyone has felt comfortable,” said Alphonse DeLucia, owner of Portofino restaurant and bar in New Haven. “I can see the last month or so, people are scared to go out, people are worried.”

Comfort is slowly slipping away as COVID cases continue to climb. There’s new pressure to support these local restaurants, and DeLucia says support means everything.

“Keep supporting local restaurants and supporting all Connecticut restaurants and businesses,” DeLucia said.

His team echoed that sentiment.

“The support we had from the clientele – even those who were afraid of COVID – they came and went. They really, really support us, that’s why we’re open,” said Alex Silva, who works at Portofino.

“There are thousands of Connecticut small business owners stuck in limbo waiting to hear if Congress will act to provide the stability they need to get through this new pandemic threat and into the future,” Scott Dolch said. , executive director of the CT Restaurant Association. “The rise of coronavirus variants like delta threatens to push these restaurants into permanent closure. It’s time for Congress to step in and deliver on the promise of the RRF.

The National Restaurant Association survey found that nationwide, a majority of consumers have already changed their eating behavior.

Specifically, the investigation revealed:

  • 6 in 10 adults have changed their use of the restaurant due to the increase in the delta variant
  • 19% of adults have stopped going out to restaurants
  • 9% have canceled existing plans to go out to restaurants in the past few weeks
  • 37% ordered takeout or delivery instead of dining out
  • 19% chose to sit outside rather than inside when dining out

“We’re going to need all facets, state government, federal government, to do their part as well and help get us on the road to recovery,” Dolch said.

To read the full letter, click here.

Sarah J. Greer