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Regional and Federal Relief Updates

April 3, 2020
We made it through another week together. During these uncertain times please take a moment to appreciate the wins you made happen this week, no matter how big or small, it is all significant. 
As we head into the weekend, we want to share some important updates that will help set you up for a productive and informed weekend and week. 
Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Update
The Treasury released an Interim Final Rule about PPP. This guidance is meant to be effective without advance notice and public comment, and it is being issued to allow for immediate implementation of the program. It lays out all the details, calculations, and clarifies ambiguities to date. Below are the big takeaways:  
  • The application process is supposed to go live today, although it is unclear if the banks are able to process everything. We recommend reaching out to your lender or checking their website for an online application now. 
  • It is confirmed that these PPP loans are first come, first served so it is important to start preparing your applications now. 
  • The only documentation you’ll need to provide with the application are payroll documents (941’s, W-2’s, and the payroll calculation used for your application).
  • SBA guidance clearly states that PPP loans for existing bank clients will not require re-verification under applicable BSA requirements, therefore existing account holders will have priority and definitely get approved more quickly. 
  • All SBA 7(a) lenders are automatically approved to make PPP loans, but the authority will be extended to additional lenders in the coming weeks. 
DC Updates
Mayor Bowser held a press conference this morning reiterating that everyone has a role to play in flattening the curve and commended the people working in essential roles who support the well being of DC and our region. This includes our incredible restaurant and foodservice industry.
The DC Council is introducing additional Emergency Legislation during Tuesday’s session. We are working with the Council to ensure shortfalls from the initial legislation are addressed and that our industry’s needs are adequately supported. The Mayor did note that the overall relief that is required cannot only be addressed on a local level, but also requires federal support. We expect the legislation will address additional considerations for Unemployment benefits and as well as support for undocumented workers. Outlined below are additional provisions that will likely be included. Please stay tuned for more information on this front. 
Small Retailer Tax Credit
If you have less than $2.5 million in sales and you own your property, the amount you may take as a credit against franchise taxes is increased to the greater of real estate taxes paid and $10,000 (currently it is $5,000). Although you currently only get credit against what is owed, the proposed legislation contemplates that you would get a refund provided you can show financial distress.
Mortgage relief available for Commercial Landlords     
  • Mortgages are to develop programs which  (1) Grants at least a 90-day deferment of mortgage payments for borrowers; (2) Permanently waives any late fee, processing fee, or any other fees accrued during the public health emergency; and (3) Does not report to a credit bureau any delinquency or other derogatory information that occurs as a result of the deferral.         
  • A landlord receiving a mortgage deferral on a property that has a commercial tenant shall reduce the rent charged for the property to any tenant during the period of time in which there is mortgage deferral in place in an amount proportional to the reduced mortgage amount paid by the lender to the mortgage servicer.   
Cable service cannot be disconnected during a public health emergency.
ANC Protest Period for ABC Licenses
The 45 calendar day protest period for ANCs to protest an ABC license changed to “at least 45 calendar days, excluding days during a public health emergency declared by the Mayor"
Maryland Updates
Montgomery County, MD: 
We previously shared that the Montgomery County Council recently created a $20M Public Health Emergency Grant Program, which enables the County Executive to provide grant funding to small businesses with 100 or less employees and nonprofits. We are still awaiting information on when applications will be made available. Montgomery County recommends emailing with the subject line PHEG to be added to their mailing list to be notified real time when the application is open.
Prince George’s County, MD: 
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the Prince George’s County COVID19 Business Relief Fund, a $15M fund established to provide financial assistance to businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis via loans of up to $100,000. The Relief Fund can be used to support cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other business critical cash operating costs.
Businesses must retain County jobs with a goal of hiring County residents for future vacancies. Borrowers must maintain operations in the County for the term of the loan. Businesses must provide evidence that an application for assistance has been submitted to the SBA EIDL program and the State of Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund.  The loan application for the Business Relief Fund will be open from April 13 - May 15.
Also available is the County Grant; the $2.5 million program offers grants to provide working capital for small County based businesses whose operations have been interrupted due to COVID -19. Grant assistance provides up to $10,000 for businesses with more than 10 employees and up to $5,000 for businesses with less than 10 employees. Applicants must meet eligibility guidelines and provide evidence of financial disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis. 
Fairfax County Updates
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is evaluating mechanisms of support for local small businesses. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is asking for businesses affected by coronavirus to fill out this short survey. They hope to use this information to understand the challenges facing the business community and what resources are needed.
Fairfax County has also set up a website dedicated to businesses - it has been recently updated with new loan and grant information and with a guide to the federal CARES Act.
Status on Messaging Campaign as we approach Phase IV
Thank you to those of you who shared feedback on the most critical areas in need of reform as we approach Phase IV.  Next week, we will share the specific next steps to include campaign structure, messaging and mobilization efforts to give you the tools to use for outreach to elected officials.  Our goal is to have an active campaign where voices are amplified over a 12-14 day period as Congress contemplates fixes to Phase IV. More to come.  
We are looking to schedule a call for our local operators with Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association, to discuss their plans for Phase IV.  Sean will walk us through the upcoming process and provide insight into what is already being discussed, and how our priority concerns are included in their efforts. Stay tuned for more details on this call.
Also on the scheduling front, we will schedule a webinar with the DC Department of Employment Services for DC operators and employees to gain insight and clarity on the current UI challenges, delays and filing hiccups. Please stay tuned for the date, time, and details. In the meantime, please send any questions you would like to be addressed during the webinar to
We are here for you during these precarious times, and continue to be in awe of your strength, resilience and generosity.  
Stay safe, stay kind. 
Kathy Hollinger | President and CEO
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington
1625 K Street NW, Suite 210 | Washington, DC 20006