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I hope you found some brief moments of downtime during the holiday weekend. As we make our way through a new week, we are sharing updates from around the region. First, while most diners are more than willing to comply with safety requirements, I wanted to bring to your attention that there are fraudulent cards circulating that claim that people are exempt from wearing a face mask. The cards — featuring a red, white and blue eagle logo and approximately the size of a business card — say the bearer is exempt from ordinances requiring them to wear masks in public. The card...
We knew that recovery would take time, hard as that may be, and that this road would be a long one, but as we head into what is traditionally a busy weekend in our region I want to commend you on your patience, tenacity and positivity during these challenging times. Our regional leaders overall have taken a slower phased reopening compared to other cities and states across the country, and while that has felt frustrating at times, it is encouraging to know that this is proving to be the correct approach.  Our region’s thoughtful, gradual and mindful approach is allowing us to...
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...
This has already been a big week in our region as many of you are easing into indoor dining, bringing some staff back on board and planning for the next phases. We are sharing many updates, reminders, and information from across the region today.  While we move to a 2-3 per week messaging cycle, we will continue to share information in a timely manner, and will increase it if necessary.   In PPP updates,  the SBA released additional guidance this week that expanded on information we already knew and shared. One important piece of guidance of note relates to loan...
It’s a new week and now our entire region is in Phase 2, which means restaurants have the ability to operate with indoor dining at 50% capacity. For those of you who navigated reopening indoors over the past few days, or past week depending on location, we hope you are easing into this gradual return to service. We are here to support you during this time as we know completely reconfiguring your operations is very challenging. In Virginia, Governor Northam announced Virginia will move into Phase Three on Wednesday, July 1st. At this time, the Governor indicated that all of...
In DC, Mayor Bowser issued the official Order, which allows DC to enter Stage Two on Monday, June 22nd at 12:01am. Stage Two allows for indoor dining at 50% capacity. The Department of Health released important guidance documents and the following measures should be implemented to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst employees, patrons, and the community. Please read the guidance document in full as it shares important information for employees, customers and operations. The Mayor’s Order outlines the below requirements, but also includes further recommendations. ...
We have heard from a number of you that restaurants and small businesses have been contacted by ROC-DC to participate in the Strike for Black Lives taking place tomorrow in observance of Juneteenth.  To be clear, this is not an effort organized by ROC, but rather by various organizations locally and nationally calling for businesses to show solidarity and shut down businesses from 9am-7pm while still paying employees.   As always it is up to each of you, as business owners, to decide how you choose to participate or not in this form of activism, understanding that observance...
In DC, Mayor Bowser announced it is likely the city will enter Phase 2 on Monday, June 22nd, and she will make the determination this Friday, and release the official Order.  Phase 2 will allow for indoor dining at 50% capacity.  The Department of Health has created important guidance documents and the following measures should be implemented to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst employees, patrons, and the community. Outlined below, are parts of the guidance, however the document is four pages, so we encourage you to read it in full as it touches on staff,...
I hope you were able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend. We have a few local and national updates to start off this week, and want to start with new guidance on the Payroll Protection Flexibility Act (the bill that “fixed” PPP issues). The SBA released guidance that is consistent with what we have already shared with you previously, which is that there is no 60% “cliff” that could invalidate loan forgiveness, and if borrowers received the loan before June 5th they can work with their lender to choose an 8-week forgiveness...
As we head into what is likely to be another busy weekend in the region with Virginia entering Stage Two and DC, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County solidly in Stage One, we want to share important updates with you that could impact your operations. In DC, large scale demonstrations are expected heading into the weekend as people continue to practice their first amendment rights in support of ending systemic racism and inequality in our country. Some events will be static, while others will include marches, and while the exact routes are still to be determined, it is expected that...
At Pepco, we are committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy service, which we know is more critical now than ever with more of our customers working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We would be remiss, if we did not acknowledge the call to action that is underway across the country and globally against racism. Pepco, and our parent company Exelon, stand in solidarity with our black communities to be present and speak out against racism and violence. Through these difficult times, we are advancing relief for all of our customers who may be challenged,...
As the region moves further into reopening this week in Northern Virginia, and with Suburban Maryland Counties close behind, we are sharing with you some quick regional updates and resources.   Nearly a month ago in DC, the City Council passed legislation that caps the fee third party delivery companies can charge at 15%. This legislation was signed into law on May 13th, and on that date third party delivery companies should have been in compliance. We have heard from a number of you that some companies have not been adhering to the cap requirement. DCRA is charged with...
In Virginia, Governor Northam announced today that Northern Virginia will enter Phase Two on Friday. The two notable changes in Phase 2 are: INDOOR DINING IS ALLOWED at 50% capacity while still maintaining a minimum of six feet of physical distancing between all individuals, and no bar seating or congregating.  All dining parties, whether seated together or across multiple tables, must be limited to 50 patrons or less.  Social Gatherings: Limit the occupancy of spaces to ensure that six feet of physical distance can be maintained between all organizers, staff, volunteers,...
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...
The Rosslyn BID launched its Rosslyn Ready initiative to support and organize the Rosslyn community and businesses in promoting proper safety measures for welcoming people back into the neighborhood. As part of Rosslyn Ready, the BID launched the "Ready for Reentry" program to help businesses prepare for a safe reentry. Specifically for restaurants, the Rosslyn BID has partnered with industry experts to produce resources with vital information for reopening: Streetsense to offer restaurants information related to capital management, operational...
We are all watching and many are participating as protests continue in DC, across our country, and in cities worldwide over the tragic death of George Floyd and systemic racism and inequity in this country. As some protests continue to result in destruction of property, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that tonight (6/3) curfew will begin at 11pm and remain in place through 6am tomorrow morning (6/4). The Mayor noted that the curfew will be revisited daily as needed with consideration for public safety, so be mindful this may impact weekend operations. The city urges everyone to close down...
March 25, 2020 - The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had an immediate impact on businesses and more repercussions are to come, particularly for restaurants, hotels, food distributors, retailers, and other vendors that service the hospitality industry. Below are some potential solutions that can assist hospitality owners with cashflow in the coming months. Defer Tax Payments Both the federal and state governments have issued guidance regarding extended due dates for paying certain taxes, which could help business owners temporarily preserve some of their cashflow. Below is summary of the...
March 19, 2020 - As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread, restaurants are being restricted to carryout and delivery service, while many others are closing their businesses entirely during this period. As a result, much of restaurants’ food inventory may spoil and end up getting trashed. Restaurant owners should strongly consider donating their food inventory to a charitable organization, as this will not only help many people in a time of need, but will result in a special and advantageous treatment by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to Internal Revenue...
As labor costs continue to rise for most hospitality owners, as well as employers in other industries, there is a tax credit available that can assist in mitigating some of the labor costs to the business owner. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is available to business owners on qualified first- and/or second-year wages that are paid to employees from select targeted groups. To claim the credit, the employer must ask for and be issued a certification from each employee from the state workforce agency. The certification proves that the employee is a member of a targeted group. Examples of...
May 18, 2020 - On the evening of May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released Form 3508, Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application. The forgiveness application form, which includes instructions and worksheets, represents a significant advance in the official guidance on PPP loan forgiveness. As we continue to dig in to the details, here are some high-level observations: 75% Rule: Based on the wording of prior guidance, some had speculated that the 75% rule could result in no (i.e. $0) PPP loan forgiveness, if less than 75% of a borrower’s loan...
Today, Friday, May 29th, marks the first stage of reopening across the region.  We want to make sure you are armed with all the information you need so we can safely enter this next phase together.  As promised, below is more information about how you can register for the use of public and private space for outdoor dining.  In DC, you can register for public and private space outdoor patios by clicking here. In Virginia, you can register for a temporary permit for the use of private space, or learn more about use of public and private outdoor spaces in these jurisdictions...
As you consider reopening and are making plans to get your restaurant ready, it is important to ensure you know the proper protocol if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Our local Mayor and Governors have all warned that as the region begins to reopen, cases will rise, so you need to know the immediate steps to take.  Steps to Take if an Employee Tests Positive:  Step One: Call your local Department of Health and report the case. They can also provide specific guidance for your restaurant on how to handle operations and disinfecting. DC DOH, VDH, MDH. Step Two:...
As Friday’s planned reopening in Northern Virginia and the District is upon us, we are sharing quick updates, reminders, and resources as you make your plans.  DC - Stage 1 Reopening - Friday May 29 Today, Mayor Bowser released the official order permitting reopening of the District under Stage 1 guidelines on Friday, May 29th. Click here for the Order.  Click here for the NEW Stage 1 Restaurant Guidance. As we expected, the Stage 1 Order includes that taverns, nightclubs and mixed-use facilities that serve food, and that are already approved to provide such outdoor service...
Dear Operator,  Heading into this week I know you all have your heads in reopening as most of the Metro Area moves into phase/stage one at the end of the week or early next week.  That transition is equal parts a welcome relief and a new and difficult challenge for those who are choosing to utilize available outdoor space.  On Friday, we tackled many of your issues on DC’s reopening and shared resources and tools (see here) as you plan for these upcoming transitions.  Today, Mayor Bowser gave a situational update and indicated that reopening in Stage 1 is still...
Executive Order Number 63 (2020) Order of Public Health Emergency Five: Requirement to Wear Face Covering While Inside Buildings  Importance of the Issue The Commonwealth of Virginia continues to respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. Measures undertaken over the last ten weeks have slowed the spread of the virus; however, its transmission continues to threaten our communities. We must remain vigilant. In fact, as we reopen Virginia, it is critical that we become even more vigilant. Studies of the virus show that a substantial number of individuals with coronavirus are...

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