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Peters Announces Support for Bipartisan Bill to Deliver Stability to Michigan Travel and Hospitality Economies

Bipartisan Bill Endorsed by Michigan Economic Development Corporation

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) cosponsored bipartisan legislation to provide comprehensive relief and recovery measures for convention, trade show, entertainment, travel, and hospitality industries and its workers in Michigan. The Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act would extend and establish tax credits that would help these industries retain workers, recover lost jobs due to the pandemic and provide greater economic stability.

“Michigan is home to many tourism destinations that drive our local economies, attract business opportunities, create local jobs and show off the best of what our state has to offer,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “The pandemic has been especially devastating to workers in travel and hospitality sectors – and we must ensure these vital sectors can come back even stronger than before. I am proud to support this critical bipartisan bill to bolster our travel economy and have the backs of the workers who make it such an important part of our state.”

“As we continue building a path to economic recovery here in Michigan, the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act provides critical relief for small businesses within our statewide tourism and hospitality industry – one of the hardest hit during the pandemic,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “I applaud Senator Peters’ leadership in co-sponsoring this critical bipartisan legislation and ensuring our tourism and hospitality industry will continue to welcome visitors back across all of Pure Michigan.”

The travel economy shrank by $492.3 billion in 2020, and spending declined by 42% over the year. No industry has lost more jobs during this pandemic than leisure and hospitality, and out of all jobs lost nationwide, 39% were from leisure and hospitality. The decline in travel spending has cost federal, state, and local tax revenues over $64 billion since March, 2020. In Michigan, visitation declined 16%, and visitor spending dropped 28% as a result of the impacts of the pandemic. This amounts to a $7.5 billion decline in spending supporting businesses and employees in the hospitality industry in the state in 2020, compared to 2019.

To address this, the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act would:

  • Allow a convention and trade show restart tax credit;
  • Extend the employee retention tax credit through 2021;
  • Suspend for taxable years 2021 through 2022, the limitation on entertainment expenses related to a trade or business;
  • Allow a restaurant and dining restart credit for businesses closed or forced to reduce services due to COVID-19;
  • Allow a 50% tax credit for travel expenditures; and
  • Allow a tax credit for unmerchantable inventory for the period between December 31, 2019, and before April 1, 2021.

The bipartisan bill has the support of groups across the country, including the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Travel Association, American Gaming Association, and American Hotel and Lodging Association.