By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Multiple hospitality groups in Minnesota are urging Gov. Tim Walz for emergency relief as the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions continue to devastate the industry.

In the letter sent to the governor Thursday, the groups say that the hospitality industry was dealt a “devastating blow” when the new restrictions were announced Wednesday and that they expect his administration to present a “comprehensive relief plan” in the upcoming days.

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The groups include Hospitality Minnesota, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild and Minnesota Events Coalition.

“The hospitality industry is a key driver of economic activity and tax revenue, supporting 1 in 10 jobs in Minnesota. It cannot be allowed to collapse,” the letter said.

Here are some of the ideas for the plan:

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– Relief should be targeted to “distressed” hospitality businesses
– Establish a $200 million emergency grant fund
– DEED no-interest loan program
– Targeted sales tax forgiveness and property tax reductions

“We hope that you will take our considerations seriously and incorporate as many as you can as swiftly as possible. The hospitality industry is counting on your help and support to survive,” the letter said.

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According to the hospitality groups, the state has already lost 80,000 jobs in this sector and is projected to lose another 70,000 “in short order if no action is taken.”

Click here to read the entire letter.

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