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DC, Maryland, Nat’l Updates & Information

July 21, 2020

As you are well aware, we are in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures above 95, and there have been heat advisories across the region. As many of you continue to rely on outdoor dining, we understand that these extreme temperatures have been difficult for your restaurant.  We will continue to keep you updated on safe practices as these heat advisories are in effect.

In Maryland, top health officials in jurisdictions across the state, including Montgomery County and Prince George's County, have asked the Governor to consider reimposing limits to combat rising cases, such as: closing indoor dining, reducing gathering sizes, and mandating face coverings for indoor and outdoor activities. The letter said, “Our jurisdictions are prepared to act quickly to address these concerns but would prefer for the state to take action to create a unified, standardized approach to address this resurgence of cases." The Governor said he is monitoring numbers, but at this time it is unclear if any statewide action will be taken or if County Executives from Prince George's County and Montgomery County will decide to impose additional restrictions. We will share more information as it becomes available. 

Knowing that all the regional leaders try to coordinate their actions during this time, we should all be prepared for increased enforcement and a potential dialing back.

In DC, the Council had their Committee of the Whole Meeting and Legislative Session today. 

While they were supposed to hold the final vote on the Local Budget Act (LBA), which is the financial portion of the 2021 budget, Chairman Mendelson made bold moves to remove the proposed 3% tax on advertising from the LBA by making minor cuts to the budget. The final vote will take place on Thursday and we will keep you posted. 

Also today, the Council held the final vote on Councilmembers McDuffie and Allen’s Business Support Grants Amendment Act that creates a new grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the public health emergency. The legislation provides a number of measures of relief for our community, and while this is a HUGE win for our industry, the legislation requires funding up to $100 million from the CARES Act, and today’s passage does not guarantee that this grant program will be fully funded. The legislation passed with unanimous consent, which sends a strong message to the Mayor’s Office regarding the need for funding. We will be firmly advocating to ensure this grant program is funded, and may need your engagement, so please stay tuned.

Also in DC, DC Dog Days is going virtual. Businesses across the District are encouraged to participate in this marketing program run by District Bridges and DC Shop Small. Many participants will be offering special sales, gifts with purchase, discounts, and more. Click here to learn more. 

On the national stage, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Law Center is hosting a webinar to discuss the various employment issues that, if not handled carefully, can lead to expensive litigation under a variety of federal, state, and local employment laws in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Presenters will also discuss discrimination and retaliation claims arising from an individual’s actual or perceived illness, exposure to the coronavirus, and requests for leave and accommodation. The webinar is Thursday, July 23, 3:00 pm. Click here to RSVP

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at

Be safe. Be kind. Wear a mask.