The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been kind to the restaurant industry. North Dakota Farmers Union owns seven Founding Farmers restaurants across the Washington D.C. metro area and Pennsylvania. “Each restaurant is a bit different based on how they were performing and the cash reserves they have built up,” said Mark Watne, president, North Dakota Farmers Union. “We’re operating at about 50 percent of sales and we’ve hired back about three-fourths of employees. We are renegotiating leases and trying to work with some of the capital we have borrowed. We’re making progress, but all that does is allow us to move forward beyond COVID. That window is tightening. In six to 12 months, it will be close to the end.” Farmers Union is calling on Congress to reach a deal on a new COVID-19 relief package before the end of the year. “Agriculture needs another round of help and the restaurant industry needs help, too.”
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