September 30, 2020

Distributors Urge Congress to Support the Foodservice Industry
IFDA responds to small business committee hearing Wednesday on how the COVID crisis is devastating small businesses across the food supply chain

The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) thanks Chairwoman Velazquez, Ranking Member Chabot and the House Committee on Small Business for holding this hearing on the impact of Covid-19 on small businesses in the food industry.  The foodservice industry has been particularly hard hit due to government closures and occupancy restrictions and urgently needs Congressional action to provide economic relief. The foodservice distribution industry was pleased with many of the provisions included in the recent House proposal.  In particular, the provision for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans and the inclusion of payments for inventory, raw materials or supplies as allowable and forgivable expenses.  In addition, the bill would establish a $120 billion grant program for restaurants, bars and food trucks.  While this is a great first step, IFDA urges that eligibility be expanded to cover independently owned franchise restaurants as well as small regional chains.
 
Mark S. Allen, President and CEO of the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), gave the following statement ahead of the congressional committee hearing:
 
“As these witnesses attest, this crisis has been devastating to the foodservice industry. Congress must help small businesses that are the backbone of our country and food supply chain. We support these companies and ask Congress and the Administration to continue in their negotiations on another COVID relief bill. In particular, we are happy to see the recent House bill includes PPP and direct aid to restaurants who have been among the hardest hit industries. Unfortunately, the House proposal denies federal support for small regional chain restaurants, as well as individual owners of small franchise restaurants. Even more restaurants and jobs will be saved if the House adopts the Senate version of the RESTAURANTS Act. Led by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), it takes a balanced approach to providing federal support to all restaurants that are suffering. IFDA implores Congress to support our nation’s restaurants and their partners, like foodservice distributors, who deliver the food and supplies to keep professional kitchens cooking.”
 
About IFDA
The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) is the trade organization representing the $303 billion foodservice distribution industry and the 350,000 people it employs. Foodservice distribution ensures a safe and efficient supply of food and products to more than one million restaurants and foodservice outlets in the U.S. every day. For more information, visit www.ifdaonline.org 
 

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