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UI Recap, Virginia, and SBA PPP Updates

April 8, 2020
Good Afternoon Operators, 
As each of you strive to get through yet another day full of twists, turns and unknowns, we wanted to remind you that we are here to support you and your employees along the way. While your decisions and business models were forced to temporarily change, your compassion, talent, creativity and resilience are steadfast and apparent.  Yes, each day feels like a week, but we will figure this out as we work our way to the other side.  
This morning we hosted a restaurant industry specific webinar with DC DOES focused on Unemployment Insurance, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and relevant Wage/Hour issues.  To date DOES has received 55,000 UI applications, and roughly 14,700 are specifically from our industry. In total, DOES has administered benefits to roughly 18,000 people, and approximately 2,700 are from the restaurant industry. 
Below is a breakdown of the major takeaways from the webinar and Q&A. 
Timing for UI Determinations 
  • While the Emergency legislation that went into effect on 3/15 waived the week waiting period, DOES is still given 21-days to investigate why a person has been discharged. 
Who can apply?
  • If a person has been laid off or furloughed for reasons out of their control like COVID-19 they are eligible for UI. 
  • If a person’s hours have been reduced because of COVID-19 they are eligible to apply. 
  • If a person’s pay has been reduced but are still working full time hours, they are not eligible to collect UI. 
  • If a person is applying to UI because of COVID-19, they should check off “laid off due to lack of work” in the application.  
Once the employee applies, they will receive the below within roughly a week
  • First receive a monetary determination. Please note this doesn’t mean you have been approved. 
  • You will also receive access to enter your UI portal.
  • You will receive a weekly certification form.
Once an employee applies, the employer will receive a request for separation certification. 
  • It takes about a week to receive the employer certification, however, the employer can speed things up by visiting the employer portal ( or SIDES.
  • If you missed the deadline for the agency’s request and you don’t agree with DOES’ determination you are able to exercise your appeal rights, and DOES will provide that information.
  • We received questions about a blanket certification for all applicants from a particular restaurant and that is not possible at this time. 
The CARES Act 
  • The additional $600 provided by the CARES Act will be automatically provided when the benefits system has been modified. The modification is a top priority, and once it is ready to go DOES will notify all claimants and provide retroactive payments.
  • DOES will contact people individually on their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility. 
How can employers help speed things along? 
  • All employers should file their quarterly wage reports early or on time. 
  • Reports are due on April 30th, but you can submit a request for a waiver by email at
In some cases DOES is asking for copies of IDs and SSNs?
  • You should only respond to the email address with personal identifying information. This is an encrypted email address. 
Applying as a self-employed individual
  • DOES does not currently accept applications for self-employed individuals. Email to be notified when the application for non-traditional (gig, self-employed, 1099, etc.) filers is ready and the system modifications have been made. If applications are submitted by non-traditional filers prior to that time, those filers will receive notices deeming them monetarily ineligible.
Debit Cards
  • If you received a debit card with a zero balance, you are advised to hold on to them. Once monetary eligibility has been determined, benefits will be loaded to the card accordingly.
If you have specific questions that were not addressed during the webinar, please email them to and we will submit to DOES for answers. 
Virginia Updates
Today, Governor Northam noted that he has directed the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority to defer annual fees for licenses and permits that would be up for renewal through June. Northam noted this affects nearly 6,000 establishments with ABC Licenses. The Governor further directed the ABC to allow restaurants with a mixed beverage license to serve mixed beverages with take-out/delivery orders. This will be effective Friday, April 10th. Click here for the order.
Updates and Tips for PPP
As of yesterday, the SBA had approved 130K loans with around $38 billion in value but it’s unknown whether any of these funds have been issued. Here is an extensive list of banks with the status of their PPP applications. Congress is rushing to issue another $250 billion in addition to the $350 billion that has already been allotted to cover PPP.  
The SBA updated their FAQ document today. See below for relevant updates:
  • The Gross Payroll approach should be used for both loan application and forgiveness.
  • The $100K salary limitation does not include healthcare, retirement benefits, and state and local taxes.
  • Applicants who use Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) can provide payroll reports since they cannot produce individual entity payroll tax documents.
  • Borrowers can calculate their aggregate payroll costs using data either from calendar year 2019 or from the previous 12 months. The FAQs also provide information for businesses that have been in operation for less than 12 months.
  • Employer FICA should not be included in payroll costs.
Worker Relief Fund and Community Kitchens 
Yesterday we shared information about the RAMW Education Foundation and Hook Hall Helps Worker Relief Fund model, in which restaurants can receive some modest funding to activate as community kitchens. We have heard that many of you are signing up to participate. This is a great way for restaurants who are interested and have capacity to support industry employees and help to move some money through the food economy as you purchase ingredients and supplies and help pay your employees who are producing packaged meals. Click here to learn more.  
As always, we will continue to keep you posted as new information becomes available.  
Stay safe, stay kind. 
Kathy Hollinger | President and CEO
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington
1625 K Street NW, Suite 210 | Washington, DC 20006