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DC and Fairfax County Updates

May 20, 2020

Dear Operator, 

Today was a good day for restaurants in DC. The Council passed legislation that clarified the timeline, mechanism and relief tied to the Tenant Payment Plan (TPP) which requires landlords to provide payment plans for rent due during the health emergency. This will allow the payment of missed or late rent due during the health emergency to be paid within one year. This applies to all retailers plus all commercial property under 6,500 sqft. This will go into effect when the Mayor signs the legislation, and we will keep you posted on when that occurs and what you should be prepared to do as a next step.   

Besides TPP, today’s Emergency Legislation did not make major changes that affect our industry. The legislation primarily combined and consolidated previously adopted bills so similar provisions are now grouped together. One minor note, in previously passed legislation landlords were required to pass on benefits of mortgage deferrals to tenants, however this legislation does away with that provision and replaces it with TPP because TPP is more beneficial to tenants. 

Mayor Bowser is expected to announce the timeline and guidance for ReOpen DC plans later this week. It is expected she will also address the expansion of utilizing additional public and private space, however if the Mayor does not address this, the Council is committed to taking up this matter at the next meeting on June 9th. Ultimately, the Mayor’s Office, the Council and core agencies are all prioritizing expansive and creative use of public/private space, and we will provide information on what this looks like for you once it is available. 

Also in DC, ABRA included many beneficial provisions in their budget announcements. Below is a breakdown of what they have proposed. 

  • Permanently allowing alcohol takeout and delivery for on premise licensees.
  • Everyone registered for alcohol delivery before March 31, 2020 is grandfathered. Any delivery endorsement applied for after that would be protestable. The fee will be $200 as of April 1, 2021. 
  • Inaugural week will be expanded to include January 9-24, 2021. 
  • On premise hours for service of alcohol are proposed to begin at 6am daily.
  • Allow carry out and delivery of alcohol between 6am and 1am. 
  • Provides six additional holiday hours days--Saturday and Sunday adjacent to Veterans’ Day, Christmas Eve and Emancipation Day.


The Council is going to hold budget hearings between now and June 18th and mark up the budget legislation between June 23rd and 25th. The final  vote on the Budget Support Act will take place on July 28th. 

In Fairfax County, the Board of Supervisors approved a $25 Million Grant program known as Fairfax Rise to assist small businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. To be eligible, applicants must be established and have one or more location(s) in Fairfax County, have 1-50 employees and be in operation for over one year. The Grant will be administered by the Department of Economic Initiatives who will oversee and monitor the program. Click here for more information. Applications will open in early June. 

The Fairfax County Department of Zoning is working on guidelines regarding outdoor seating which should be made available at the end of the week. While these guidelines will be focussed on zoning, the Department of Health is working on the spacing requirements pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order. Please stay tuned for more information. 

As always, more to come. 

Be safe. Be kind.