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Restaurant industry cheers bailout’s passage

WASHINGTON The National Restaurant Association praised the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday for its “courageous and difficult vote” in approving a $700 billion bailout package for the financial community. After winning approval in the House, the measure was quickly signed into law by President Bush.

 "Many of our members tell us they would like to expand their restaurant operations and create new jobs, but they simply cannot because capital is not available from their local financial institutions,” Dawn Sweeney, the NRA's president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We are pleased that so many of our members contacted their lawmakers to tell them how important this tough vote was for them, their employees and their guests.”

Sweeney noted that the House-approved measure included a provision that brings the depreciation rules for restaurants more in line with the allowances for comparable service or retail businesses. “This provision can serve as an important catalyst for growth,” she said.

The statement directed the association’s praise at Congress and the White House alike, as well as at both Democrats and Republicans. It asserted that the parties “worked together to do what is best for the nation.”

The bailout's approval also won praise Friday from the International Franchise Association, whose membership includes more than 10,000 franchisees from multiple industries.

"We are very pleased that lawmakers heard the pleas of millions of small-business owners who are feeling the effects of the credit crunch on Main Street," Matthew Shay, the IFA's president and CEO, said in a statement. "It is very unfortunate that we find ourselves supporting such massive government intervention, but this package is the right solution for this extraordinary situation and we thank those who voted for it.”

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