The RESTART Act is ASTA’s top legislative priority for the next Coronavirus relief bill, says Eben Peck, executive v.p. of advocacy for America Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) in press material.

The bill’s sponsors are soliciting signatures for the letter, since ASTA sent out the support letter on August 14, there have been 400 signers with “travel” in the title of their company.

This week, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) announced that more than 8,700 small business owners and leaders across America have signed on to entrepreneur and philanthropist Howard Schultz’s letter supporting the RESTART Act. Last month, Schultz led more than 100 current and former prominent CEOs on a letter to Congressional leadership expressing support for the type of low-interest, partially forgivable, long-term working capital loan proposed in the RESTART Act. Since then, the letter has gained the support of thousands of small businesses owners in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, including at least 55 small businesses in Indiana, 85 small businesses in Colorado, 104 local Chamber of Commerce leaders, and 65 veteran-led businesses. Additional signatories include CEOs of the U.S. Black Chamber, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.

The full letter and list of signatories can be viewed here.

“America’s small businesses are sounding the alarm to members of Congress,” says Starbucks chairman emeritus Howard Schultz in a press statement. “Now is the time for comprehensive, bipartisan action to provide relief to millions of small businesses that are at risk of closure because of the COVID crisis. They are calling on the leaders of the House and Senate to embrace key principles outlined in the RESTART Act, which has 55 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and 140 in the House, to provide small businesses with the means to survive. Our small businesses are too important to let fail.”

“As I have heard from countless small businesses in Indiana, and now thousands of small business leaders nationwide—the need for assistance is dire. More than half of the Senate supports our RESTART Act, and a long-term loan program like this would provide critical relief to our small and mid-sized businesses and the millions of Americans they employ. We are at a crossroads in this economic crisis and to prevent irreparable damage we must act in a responsible and meaningful way by passing the RESTART Act,” says Senator Young in a press statement.

“The more than 8,700 small business owners who signed this letter are sending a clear message: RESTART is the support they need to keep their businesses afloat,” says Senator Bennet in the letter. “This is the only bipartisan proposal of its kind, and if we want to save small businesses and fuel the American economy, Congress must include RESTART in the next relief package. I’m grateful to Sen. Young for being a relentless partner in writing and advocating for this legislation and to Howard Schultz for his leadership in building momentum. Leaders across the country have spoken—it’s time for Congress to listen.”

Senators Young and Bennet are pushing for the RESTART Act to be included in any final coronavirus relief package that passes the Senate. The RESTART Act has received the support of 55 bipartisan Senate cosponsors and is endorsed by nearly 100 trade associations and small businesses. Companion legislation was also introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Jared Golden (D-Maine) and continues to gain momentum.

For more information, visit asta.org.