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Iowa Restaurant Association estimates $1 billion loss in state from COVID-19

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 1:28 AM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Iowa Restaurant Association is estimating businesses in the state have already lost $1 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the concerns are growing as winter months arrive.

“We’ve remained targeted in our approach. And while I didn’t close any businesses, the limited hours of operation and the social distancing requirements have had an impact on our hospitality industry through no fault of their own,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said at a COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday.

Of the $4.4 billion industry, the Iowa Restaurant Association estimates 1,000 bars and restaurants in the state will close by March 2021.

“To say that things are difficult would be an understatement. To say things are dire, would not be an overstatement,” Jessica Dunker, President & CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association said “At this point with the way things are going, it will probably be even more than that.”

With colder months arriving, which is typically a slower season for businesses, the industry is worried.

“It’s time for Congress to come together and get a relief package passed get some relief to our small businesses and Iowa families who are suffering,” Gov. Reynolds said in Tuesday’s update.

Dunker is encouraging communities to help their local businesses through these months by shopping local, getting dinner, takeout, or delivery.

“No matter what it is, we need people to be using every service model that we have available to us and enjoying our establishments so that they’ll be here on the other side of COVID,” she said.

In March, Iowa had about 6,200 bars and restaurants statewide.

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