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Traveling in/around National Mall, Capitol Hill, or RFK Stadium this weekend? Plan for extra time due to road closures.    Beginning Friday 5/13 and continuing through Saturday evening 5/14 streets along the National Mall will be closed to traffic for Bans Off Our Bodies rally and DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services parade. More info: https://www.washingtonian.com/2022/05/13/map-saturdays-national-mall-street-closures/   On Sunday morning, streets from Capitol Hill to RFK Stadium will be closed for Capitol Hill Classic 10K. More info: https://mpdc.dc.gov/...
Any business, no matter how small, can create a workplace culture that encourages healthy lifestyles. It involves offering programs that support healthier behaviors, educating employees about health issues, and making health-related objectives part of your corporate policy. Take a look at our tips for creating a culture of health in your workplace.   ----   The restaurant business is rewarding but tough. Operators need a health care plan that works as hard as they do. That’s why RAMW has partnered with USI Insurance Services and Kaiser Permanente to develop a plan...
Funds Will Support Open and Eligible Restaurants and Small Businesses in Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard   ARLINGTON, VA - February 10, 2022 - National Landing Business Improvement District (BID), in coordination with Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), today announced the return of Love Local, a  grant program created in 2021 to provide funding and promotional support for National Landing restaurants and small businesses. The current round of funding of up to $100,000 for this initiative is intended to help small businesses cover pay for workers...
You have an opportunity to improve the health of your employees every day. Making small changes to your workplace and company policies are great ways to start and can have a big impact. Not sure how to get started with a workforce health strategy? Check out our four-step model --- The restaurant business is rewarding but tough. Operators need a health care plan that works as hard as they do. That’s why RAMW has partnered with USI Insurance Services and Kaiser Permanente to develop a plan that is flexible, convenient, and affordable, to help operators with their bottom lines, and...
Creating a culture of equity, inclusion, and diversity (collectively referred to as EID) is complex and challenging. Many companies struggle to take the first step or may be limited by a lack of resources or time. But the journey to a culture that embraces EID and uses it to create healthier, safer and more inclusive work environments can begin with a few simple steps. Read more in our recent joint article with the Baltimore Business Journal. ---- The restaurant business is rewarding but tough. Operators need a health care plan that works as hard as they do. That’s why RAMW has...
DC Vaccination Requirement Breakdown Saturday, January 15, 2022 Proof of the first dose of vaccination will be required for all patrons 12+ dining indoors at restaurants, bars, and nightclubs starting Saturday, January 15, 2022. The requirement also applies to indoor cultural and entertainment events, indoor exercise and recreational establishments, and indoor event and meeting establishments.    Beginning on January 15, 2022, businesses shall display prominently, visible to patrons prior to entry, a notice informing patrons that proof of vaccination is required to enter any...
DC Health Link, the District of Columbia's Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace, offers 25 different health plans for District residents to fit all budgets. There are PPOs, POSs, and HMOs—low and high deductibles—and HSA compatible plans from CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente. Fifteen of the 25 plans even cover medical services without having to first pay your deductible, including urgent care, specialists (including mental health), primary care, and generic medication. All District residents qualify for coverage through DC Health Link and may...
Restaurants have always made food safety a priority, but the pandemic has altered customers’ awareness and sharpened expectations about what safe dining entails. Make your commitment a very prominent part of your marketing message by joining the ServSafe Dining Commitment. When customers see the SSDC logo on a restaurant website, menu, or door, that restaurant communicates that its staff is professionally trained in safe food handling and that the establishment is committed to following the best procedures for safe dining going forward. Make the commitment.
  Arlington's Small Business GRANT 2.0 program is now open for applications. The program will provide direct financial assistance to 200 eligible Arlington businesses struggling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that are eligible for an Arlington Small Business GRANT 2.0 must:   Be in one of the following industry categories: Arts and...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 6, 2021   CONTACT: LaToya Foster (EOM) – (202) 727-5011; latoya.foster@dc.gov   Mayor Bowser’s Emergency COVID-19 Relief at Work Keeping District Residents and Small Businesses Covered with Quality Health Insurance    (WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that thousands of DC residents and small businesses with DC Health Link coverage have had their past-due health insurance premiums paid thanks to a local program using American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief funds for cities...
Training your crew to execute a solid cleaning job amid the fast action of a foodservice is what separates the good from the great. National Food Safety Month tips this week identify what should be cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected and how to make those efforts visible to guests when possible.   Two items that might not currently be in your training routine: How to treat non-food surfaces and what to do if a guest gets sick. Read the full post at Food Safety Focus and get a free poster and activity sheet that makes setting up cleaning schedules easy. Enjoy a...
To a small business owner, navigating the must-have’s and the nice-to-have’s of health benefits can seem daunting. Are you required to offer health care to your staff? How much will that cost you? Do the benefits of employee-sponsored health coverage outweigh the costs?   While the circumstances and specific requirements may differ from business to business, at Kaiser Permanente we know that health coverage isn’t just a benefit to the employee, but also to the business owner. Because healthier employees lead to a healthier bottom line.   In a recent article in...
RAMW is introducing access to a new SBA lending program to help maximize your revenue in this improving economy. Capital Direct offers a solution to help you invest in strategies to expand, acquire new customers and increase sales.    The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) - provides an ideal funding solution. This Unique SBA program is now offering Small Business Owners loans - up to $500,000. Quick Access to Working Capital. Rates at only 3.75% - with Thirty (30) Year Repayment terms. Zero payments are required for your...
As a direct result of our advocacy, we are thrilled to share that included in the Budget Support Act is a grant program which was conceived and advocated for by RAMW over the past year.   The grant program is funded with $40 million dollars and would be available to a small business operating a restaurant, tavern, nightclub, entertainment venue, or retail establishment on leased property with revenues of less than $5 million dollars in 2020. The program will pay up to one-third of rent arrearage accruing during the period of April 1, 2020 to March 30, 2021, provided the landlord abates...
DDOT just announced streatry permits are extended through Monday, February 28, 2022. Applicants do not need to take any action as DDOT will automatically extend the valid permits to the above date. Please see the release text below and I'm attaching the doc as well.   The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced it will extend the temporary Streatery Program and associated public space permits through Monday, February 28, 2022. This is expected to continue assisting businesses still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those...
We know that hiring and retaining employees is the largest challenge facing restaurant owners today. The video below features Chris Floyd, President and Founder of Capital Restaurant Resources. Learn from his experience how to deal with hiring issues for today and the future. Keep up to date with the latest industry trends and issues! Register for the "Changing Strategies for Changing Times" program to receive video interviews that will make a difference in running your restaurant! If you have questions regarding the "Changing Strategies for Changing Times"...
They say that “change is good.” And while switching to Kaiser Permanente should be a seamless experience, any organizational change can be disruptive and spark many questions – especially when the change involves something as important as health care. The good news is that there are ways to minimize that disruption so employees can feel good about the change and stay focused on doing their job. In a recent blog post, we shared tips employers can use to leverage best practices in change management.
Don’t let refrigeration run up your energy costs! Refrigeration equipment for small businesses like convenience stores and restaurants can account for as much as 60% of electricity consumption.   From now until Sept 15, 2021, the DCSEU will cover up to 100% of materials cost for fan replacements for coolers and freezers as well as door heater controls on glass door refrigerators and freezers. The overall energy savings will make up for the cost of the installation. The new installation will not only reduce energy costs but could extend the life of your equipment.  ...
As many of you have been following the recent updates on the SBA and RRF, we thought it would be of interest to you to read the letter sent by Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at the National Restaurant Association, that he sent out earlier today. In collaboration with local restaurant associations across the country, Sean sent the letter linked here to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. We found it important to note that not only did he address Director Guzman, he also copied Bipartisan Leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate....
Managing Your Menu to Improve Profitability   Restaurants need to pay close attention to their menu now more than ever. The pandemic has made us all focus on what sells as we pair down our inventory to reduce cost and improve back of the house efficiency. In addition, the changing times are now producing record inflation which makes managing your food cost and updating your menu pricing critical to your success.   See what FoodPRO Executive Chef Dustin Stone recommends moving forward!       View the video below and then take a short five-question...
For many years, a restaurant's relationship with their food distributor has been primarily a transactional nature. Finding the best products at the best prices has been the norm which has led to a relationship of "I need you, but am I willing to partner with you to grow my business?" One strategy many restaurants used over the past year to remain viable in the marketplace was to partner with their food distributor. The video below features Tom Enright from FoodPRO, an RAMW Industry Partner, who speaks about how your food distributor can help you reach a new level of...
To help our restaurant clients stay current with ongoing legislative and industry developments, we have partnered with leading law firm Shulman Rogers and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington to provide regular updates. Here are highlights from a recent conversation with Shulman Rogers Attorney Joy Eeinstein and Kathy Ogilvie of Restaurant People Cloud. COVID Vaccine Protocols for Restaurants Q1. Can Restaurants Mandate Vaccines? A1. Yes, restaurants can mandate that employees get them, so long as you have exceptions for strongly held religious beliefs and disabilities,...
RAMW has joined with FoodPro and CORE Restaurant Marketing to share with you a new restaurant education initiative, “Changing Strategies for Changing Times.” This educational series will be available free for all RAMW members and will cover important topics that will help you increase your sales and lower your food costs. Beginning in May, “Changing Strategies for Changing Times” will be available on the RAMW website and will be shared with members. The series will include monthly installments of videos, best practices from industry experts, and surveys on...
IRS issues guidance for restaurant entertainment expenses, now fully deductible through 2022. To assist the hospitality industry in its recovery from pandemic-related shutdowns, the December Consolidated Appropriations Act authorized a temporary 100% tax deduction for business meal expenses provided generally by restaurants that would have otherwise been limited to 50%. The IRS has now provided guidance on the newly enacted 100% deduction, in Notice 2021-25, issued April 8. Background The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changed Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 274...
In collaboration with DC Health Link, the District’s online health insurance marketplace, RAMW recently hosted a webinar on the current options available to small businesses that have had changes in business operations affecting their ability to offer or maintain employer sponsored health coverage and for individuals who may be losing or have lost health insurance coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Including the newly added options that are part of the American Rescue Plan that also lowers premiums for District residents. View the recorded webinar here.

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