CT Restaurant Association says financial security is in danger of being wiped out by the Delta variant

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Connecticut Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association, and 50 other state restaurant association partners sent a letter to Congressional leadership for a swift replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Connecticut has more than 2,000 pending applications that total more than $489 million in stabilization funding that would be addressed by the $60 billion proposed replenishment bills.

The local restaurant industry says their financial security is in danger of being wiped out by the Delta variant.

“The last three or four months, everybody felt comfortable,” said Alphonse DeLucia, owner of Portofino’s Restaurant and Bar in New Haven. “I can see the last month or so, people are scared to go out, people are worried.”

Comfortableness is slowly slipping away as COVID cases continue to climb. There’s a renewed push to support these local restaurants, and DeLucia says that support means everything.

“Keep supporting local restaurants and support every restaurant and business in Connecticut,” DeLucia said.

His team echoed this sentiment.

“The support we had from the clientele — even those who were afraid of COVID — they came and did take out. They really, really support us so that’s why we’re open,” said Alex Silva, who works at Portofino’s.

“There are thousands of Connecticut small business owners stuck in limbo waiting to find out if Congress will act to provide the stability they need to make it through this new pandemic threat and into the future,” said CT Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch. “The rise of coronavirus variants like delta threaten to push these restaurants closer to permanently closing their doors. It’s time for Congress to step in and fulfill the promise of the RRF.”

The National Restaurant Association survey found that nationally, a majority of consumers have already changed their dining behavior.

Specifically, the survey found:

  • 6 in 10 adults changed their restaurant use due to the rise in the delta variant
  • 19% of adults have stopped going out to restaurants
  • 9% have cancelled existing plans to go out to a restaurant in recent weeks
  • 37% have ordered takeout or delivery instead of going out to a restaurant
  • 19% have chosen to sit outside instead of inside when going out to a restaurant

“We’re going to need all facets, state government, federal government, to do their part as well and help us get on a path to recovery,” Dolch said.

To read the full letter, click here.

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