Houston Restaurants' 2021 Challenges

If it’s not one thing it’s another.

The Covid pandemic forced lockdowns that shut down and then severely limited the ability of restaurants to survive, and some were lucky enough to get a lifeline when PPP – Paycheck Protection Programs – funds were made available by Congress last spring. But now that’s become an issue.

Restaurant owners, who specialize in cooking not financial accounting, are now being held accountable for determining how that money is applied when the tax bill comes due. Melissa Stewart, Executive Director of the Greater Houston Chapter of the Texas Restaurant Association, says business owners are getting help from Austin but it remains a grey area a struggling industry doesn’t need. “In Texas we’ve got great support from state leaders, but the way the money came in, as an unintended consequence it could be recognized as income and fall under some other tax rules.” That stress they didn’t need.

Texas ranks fourth in the nation in restaurant foot traffic. We’ve moved up one rank relative to pre-Covid placements, but in terms of percentage of previous business, we’re not faring as poorly as other states.

California has 14.4% of their previous foot traffic, while New York is down 18.57%. Florida is still seeing 37.6% of their patrons, and Arizona 42%, but among the top 5 nationally, Texas is only has been able to hang on to 44.5% of their foot traffic business.

photo: Getty Images

source image below: Zenreach

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