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Updated Guidance and Information 3/20/20

March 20, 2020
Dear RAMW Community,
As promised here is some end of day news as we head into the weekend.
As a reminder please visit for up to date information on all things COVID-19. We have recently posted a helpful FAQ section that answers the most frequently asked questions we have received and that will likely help you.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced this afternoon that restaurants will be closed for on-premise service until April 27th. She is advising people to stay indoors, but has NOT issued a shelter in place mandate. Take-out and delivery service will continue. It is also important to note that restaurants, although modified in operation and services, are considered essential personnel in some jurisdictions that DO have a shelter in place mandate, as they are considered essential food sources.
Mayor Bowser committed $25 million at this time for short term financial assistance to small businesses. The program will be administered by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development (DMPED), and the application process will be open early next week. It’s important to understand that these grants will be modest at best which is why a comprehensive package that includes federal and state relief needs to happen. If you have not already participated in the National Restaurant Association’s campaign to tell Congress to put significant funding towards supporting the restaurant industry, please do so immediately by texting the message RECOVERY to the number 52886 to tell Congress your story. Share this with everyone you know.
The Department of Housing and Community Development will have community development block grants available that will provide direct economic relief to small businesses in DC neighborhoods. More info in the coming weeks. The Department of Insurance Security and Banking currently has a collateral support program available to small businesses with limited access to credit that allows them to get loans to stay open and invest in their business. This program is currently open. Visit DISB for more information. We we will explore if and how this applies to our restaurant and small business community.
MD Governor Larry Hogan released guidance today to avoid areas where more than ten people can congregate. He also advised returning travelers to voluntarily self quarantine for the next 14 days. The state is urging citizens to utilize transit for essential travel only. Governor Hogan has also issued an emergency order that allows for delivery and carry-out sales of alcohol by restaurants, bars, distilleries, and wineries, subject to liquor laws and other conditions imposed by local alcoholic beverage authorities.
VA Governor Ralph Northam provided helpful information on Unemployment Insurance that can be shared with employees. Workers who have been totally or partially separated from their job due to Coronavirus, should note that no claim for unemployment insurance may be filed or processed until an actual lay off from employment has occurred, or until there has been an actual reduction in hours.  When filing the claim for unemployment benefits, please be sure to check the reason for separation as Lack of Work/Lay off.
While we are in a time of great uncertainty, please know that first and foremost we are here for you, working hard on your behalf as we weather this storm together. It will pass. We have heard that some sort of community message board would be helpful for our industry to share best practices, questions, and updates to be able to connect with many during this time. We will have a mechanism for this soon.
Be strong and safe. As always, more to come.