Published on : Thursday, March 25, 2021
Zane Kerby, President & CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), releases the following statement in response to this week’s introduction of the Securing Access for Venue Equity (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2120), which would include travel agencies and other hard-hit businesses in a key COVID relief grant program created by the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021:
“We strongly support the SAVE Act, which would give our members access to grants of up to $10 million to help their businesses recover from the ravages of COVID-19. This support is sorely needed, as the travel agency sector has been catastrophically impacted and faces a longer recovery window than virtually any other industry.
“We commend Reps. Amodei, Crist, Pascrell and Titus for their leadership and for recognizing that the job of COVID relief is not done. Through no fault of their own, the women and men in our membership are at risk of losing their livelihood and desperately need additional support. We call on every member of the House of Representatives to cosponsor this bipartisan bill and stand ready to do everything in our power to see it through to enactment.
“As we have said time and again, when government action has a disproportionally negative impact on a specific industry, it is a matter of fundamental fairness that the government provide targeted relief to the businesses most severely affected. With this principle as our North Star, we will keep fighting for relief until the travel agency sector is restored to health.”
The Securing Access for Venue Equity (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2120) was introduced in the House of Representatives on March 23 by Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Charlie Crist (D-FL,) Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Dina Titus (D-NV). It would make travel agencies and other hard-hit businesses eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which was established by the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 (P.L. 116-159). The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, and is administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million.