Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Pleads With Congress To End Shutdown, Maintain Economic Confidence

The National Restaurant Association has launched a broad-based grassroots effort among its members urging Congress to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling to maintain economic stability and consumer confidence.

Scott Defife, exec.v.p.-policy and government affairs, said the shutdown is cutting into operators’ bottom line and negatively impacting the livelihoods of the restaurant industry’s 13 million workers, as well as its customers.

The NRA is directing its members to America’s Restaurant Advocates initiative, an industrywide, national grassroots advocacy program that connects restaurateurs with elected officials on issues critical to the industry. The association is encouraging operators to sign a letter and share their personal stories with their elected officials.

Ahead of the Oct. 1 shutdown, the NRA, along with more 250 other organizations, called on Congress to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government into the next fiscal year, raise the debt limit, reform entitlement programs and tackle tax reform. In a joint letter, the groups said that government shutdowns can cause even more uncertainty in a fragile economy.

The NRA’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy recently noted that both consumers and restaurant operators already had low expectations for the economy, and the shutdown will only add to the uncertainty in the months ahead.

Only 23% of operators said they expected the economy to improve in six months, according to the NRA’s September 2013 Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey. Another NRA survey found that only 21% of consumers said they expected the nation’s economy to be better in the next six months.