The pandemic threatens the entire United States hospitality sector, which employs 4.7 million people.

In New Mexico, more than 94,000 people are employed by the hospitality industry. As the owner of Los Ojos Restaurant & Saloon in Jemez Springs, I am experiencing firsthand the crippling impact the coronavirus is having on our industry and our workforce, and on the community in which we serve.

The situation is worsening by the day. Meetings and events have been canceled, occupancies continue to plummet, and businesses across New Mexico and across the country are beginning to close and furlough staff.

Our staff are the backbone of our community; these people have been with us for many, many years and rely exclusively on this income to pay their bills and put food on their table for their families.

We encourage the state to continue to implement proactive community health measures, and I urge Congress to work with the business community and to take immediate action to implement policies and programs to protect our workforce, stabilize business operations and enable immediate tax relief.

 Brian Appell

Jemez Springs