A group of 20 restaurant owners in a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo backed guaranteed paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage for workers, which should be packaged with rent and tax relief to restaurants who commit to those policies, including after the COVID-19 pandemic crisis ends.

The group, Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards Employments, released a letter to Cuomo on Monday urging a bolstering of the industry that is reeling from the closure of their businesses to all but take-out and delivery services.

The group wants a conference call with the governor to discuss their proposal.

“Our coalition is poised and ready to provide any restaurant willing to make this commitment with training and financial tools to help transition to this model post-crisis,” the letter states. “Training could take place while their businesses are closed over the next several months. The State could provide property, payroll, or liquor tax abatements, grants, loans, or other assistance, that would allow the state’s most responsible businesses to thrive after the crisis.”

Cuomo on Monday acknowledged the hardship that has been placed on businesses in the state that have had to close as well as the struggles for workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the crisis.

He also spoke of preparing for a pivot of turning the economy back on once the crisis ebbs.

The restaurant owners, meanwhile, are seeking some form of action now.  

“Enacting proactive rent and tax incentives now, to protect struggling restaurants that specifically commit to enacting pro-worker policies, like a full minimum wage, could be a feasible way to support the industry, support workers, and build the kind of sustainable economy New York State needs when this crisis is in the rear-view mirror,” they wrote. “Please let us know when you are available to discuss this proposal.”