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Powerful Weekend and Outlook on the Week

June 8, 2020

Over the weekend in DC, and regionwide, so many made their voices heard and came out to fill the streets with peaceful and powerful messages and demonstrations to demand change to end systemic racism and inequity in our country, our cities, and our neighborhoods. True to form, so many of you who are always so involved in your community, showed up and were standing and marching in solidarity with fellow protestors, or found your own ways to support, feed, hydrate, and provide needed shelter at times to demonstrators.

We are listening and learning, and we are committed to looking inward and to taking bold and deliberate steps to ensure our actions support inclusion and equity. We MUST do more, and WE WILL. RAMW is YOUR association and we are so proud to be part of a community of restaurants and businesses that continually stand up for what is right and needed.  

As we continue to represent our restaurant community, know that we have been pulled into very specific conversations and work groups around racial equity in our industry and our region.  As we move into further reopening stages, as well as a reset of society in many ways coming off of both a global pandemic and these much needed conversations and actions surrounding ending systemic racism in our culture, we will approach both steadfast in our commitment.  We continue to have a seat at the table with our elected officials across the region, and we will be bold and intentional with that level of access to ensure that we are doing more to make needed change happen. In our industry and community, we are dedicated to continuing to ensure that black-owned businesses are supported, not just right now, but also going forward in all that we do legislatively, programmatically, in our marketing, and in our thinking. 

Heading into a new week, we have a few updates around what is on the horizon. 

In DC, the Council will hold a Legislative Session tomorrow and will adopt rules already in place regarding expanded outdoor seating. The legislation keeps these privileges in place until October 25, 2020.  The bill also cleans up provisions passed in previous legislation such as rent repayment plan, rent freezes and third party delivery caps. The changes in tomorrow’s legislation on those three issues are not substantive and will not impact what is already in place as it relates to your operations. As a reminder the cap on third party delivery fees and rent freezes are in place through the Mayor’s Emergency, so there is not a defined timeline. We are pushing for the Emergency to be in place throughout all phases of reopening, and for as long as businesses cannot operate at full capacity. 

Also, for those who applied for the Mayor’s DC Microgrant and have not heard back, we encourage you to check your junk mail/SPAM to make sure you have not missed important communication sent from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED).  DMPED has notified businesses via email if they have been conditionally approved to be awarded a Microgrant through Events DC, which is being administered by our team here at RAMW.  If you have been conditionally approved, you have received an email notification from indicating that you must send required documentation to RAMW to receive the funds.  Our team is standing by to process your submitted documents immediately and get your grant funds disbursed to you. 

In VA, it is likely Governor Northam will announce that Northern Virginia will enter Phase 2 of reopening on Friday, however we will know more information this week as updates are provided at his bi-weekly press conferences on Tuesday and Thursday. For reference, Click here for the full Phase 2 Reopen Guidelines document, which includes 50% capacity for indoor dining while maintaining required social distancing.  We will send further updates when the Governor announces next steps. 

And for those navigating the Paycheck Protection Program now that Congress fixed PPP, Matt Hetrick and the team at CPA Eats/Harmony Group are hosting two sessions of their helpful webinar on Tuesday and Wednesday this week on how to proceed now that the rules have been finalized. Click here to register for either the Tues. 6/9 or Wed. 6/10 sessions offered at noon.   

Stay safe. Stay kind.