US restaurants asked Congress for more financial aid to help weather the COVID crisis.

The coronavirus crisis is ravaging the restaurant industry inside the United States.

The National Restaurant Association said its latest survey showed two-thirds of its workers – more than 8 million people – have been laid off or furloughed as four in 10 restaurants are closed, per Reuters, and not just that, experts say the industry is on track to lose $240 billion by the end of 2020, and that is why the industry has requested a $240 billion Restaurant and Foodservice Industry Recovery Fund – after asking lawmakers a month ago for $145 billion in cash relief through such a fund, which was not created.

Such a fund would provide capital to restaurants that lost at least 25% of sales to help them compensate for government-mandated closures, restock inventory, supply safety equipment and rehire workers, the NRA proposed.

These restaurants that are still offering takeout and delivery are operating with skeleton crews at a loss and cannot yet rehire people even with a loan. Instead, they need money now to pay rent and vendors, the coalition said.