Photo credit: City of Houston
March 18, 2020 — While the City of Houston works to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Sylvester Turner urges federal leaders to assist restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners and employees who may be devastated by a loss in business.
Mayor Turner sent an urgent letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A copy of the letter is available here —http://www.houstontx.gov/govtrelations/3.17.2020-restaurant-relief.pdf.
On Monday, the mayor and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered all bars and nightclubs to close for 15 days. Restaurants are allowed to continue operating but can only serve food for takeout or delivery.
“Government officials are being forced to make tough decisions that are in people’s best interests but will have profound economic impact on their lives,” Mayor Turner wrote in the letter. “The restaurant and bar sector employs many low-wage workers who are often uninsured with little savings to weather this storm. These hard-working Houstonians are not responsible for this situation.”
The restaurant industry is the 4th largest employer in the Houston area and employs over 300,000 people.
While the COVID-19 regulations remain in effect, Mayor Turner is encouraging the public to support local restaurants by ordering takeout and delivery.
“We are in this together. I want to encourage people to call in and order takeout or delivery. If we work together, and mitigate the spread and slow the progression of COVID-19 so that our health care system is not overwhelmed, then all of us will benefit,” Mayor Turner said.