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Northern Virginia and DC Updates 6/30

June 30, 2020

As you know Virginia will move into Phase Three tomorrow, July 1st. Phase Three lifts capacity limits for restaurants but still requires 6 feet between seated parties. Click here for Phase Three Guidelines. Below is a quick recap of the guidance, but we encourage you to read the guidance in full as it provides important information. 

  • Buffets may be open for self-service, with continuous monitoring by trained staff required at food lines, and serving utensils must be changed hourly during peak meal times. 
  • All parties, whether seated together or across multiple tables, must be limited to 250 patrons or less.
  • Employees working in customer dining and service areas are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth

In DC, we have received a lot of questions about expanding outdoor dining. 

  • If you already hold a permit for outdoor dining, you can begin service. 
  • If you are interested in expanding to public or private space you complete Phase One Registration using this link for both public and private space use. (I know we are no longer in Phase One but the registration is still referred to as “Phase One Registration”.)
  • For additional seating of private space, you only need to show an agreement to use the space and complete Phase One Registration. 
  • For additional seating on public space, within 5 days you must submit the Temporary Sidewalk Table Service permit to DDOT by clicking here
  • If you don't already have a TOPS account with DDOT you will need to create one to apply for the public space permit.

Also, as an important reminder, in order to operate with indoor or outdoor dining you must complete a short 20-minute webinar training with DOH within two weeks of starting service. You can register for the webinar by emailing

We have also heard from a number of you that you have received notices from OTR regarding sales and use payments. OTR is sending these notices to businesses who they believe did not file their February and March returns on time. As a reminder, sales taxes for February and March, normally due March 20 and April 20 respectively, could have been filed without payment on the regular date. You were still required to file on the original date, however the payment was deferred until July 20, 2020 without penalty. Sales taxes from April, May and June are not deferred and you are required to file and pay on time. If you DID file on time, and you received an enforcement letter saying you DID NOT file in time, here is what you should do: 

Contact OTR through your portal by logging into your portal to send an email directly to the OTR e-services group

Call 202-727-4829

Reach out to the taxpayer advocate at 

If you have any questions regarding past filing, notices, payments, or upcoming filings you are encouraged to contact OTR.  And finally, as a reminder, your annual filings (D20 and D30) are due on July 15th. 

In the world of relief, ABRA is extending select deadlines to provide temporary financial relief. The extensions include:

  • Annual License Payments: Payments due between March 31 – July 30 are now due July 31.
  • Alcohol License Expirations: Alcohol licenses that were set to expire between March 16 – July 30 are now valid until July 31. The deadline extension until July 31 also applies to Solicitor Licenses and Alcohol Awareness Training Provider Permits that were set to expire on June 30.
  • Fines: Fines that were due between March 1 – July 30 are now due July 31.
  • Quarterly Statements for Hotels and Restaurants: The previously revised deadline for Q1 statements, originally due on April 30, remains June 30. There has been no change to the July 30 deadline for the Q2 statements, covering April - June.

If you are in need of legal advice, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center is offering FREE one-on-one brief advice legal consultations to small businesses in the District that suffered damage to their commercial property or other losses (such as inventory, fixtures, electronics, and other property) as a result of the recent protests and looting in the District. Consultations can last up to 2 hours. Register at: Businesses seeking legal assistance with other matters may request assistance online at:

Also in DC, the Paid Family Leave Fund (PFL) was certified as solvent, which means people can start applying for benefits on July 1st. As a reminder, employees have up to 8 weeks to bond with a new child, 6 weeks to care for a family member with a serious condition and 2 weeks to care for your own serious health condition. PFL will not exceed 8 weeks in a year. DOES has not provided information about how employees can apply for leave and what the process will look like for the business, but we will share more information once it is available. We are also seeking more clarity on how DC’s PFL intersects with paid expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA. We will provide you with more details shortly. 

Separately, across the region, as you seek ongoing resources to support your employees, we wanted to make sure you are aware of the organization CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees), which provides financial relief to restaurant, bar, and food service employees with children when either the parent or child may face challenges around a health crisis, death, or natural disaster.  CORE provides grants to cover basic expenses such as medical costs, rent, food, utilities, and transportation. Though a national organization, they are very active locally and just received funding from Capital One specifically for families in the DC Metropolitan region. We encourage you to print and post this breakroom flyer for your teams, and direct them to to access information.  

And finally, as we all need things to look forward to, our partners at Events DC launched their campaign today for DC’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.  Many in the region are rallying together to share information, post on social media, and ignite excitement around this bid. 

To get on board: 

  • Follow @DC2026 on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
  • Click here to sign on as an official supporter
  • Click here for a toolkit of social media images and composed text you can copy and paste to join in the excitement. 

As we continue to navigate these difficult times together, we encourage you to reach out to with any questions. 

Be safe. Be kind.