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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.
National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) has joined forces with the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) to announce a $100,000 relief program called, “Love Local” to address the upending impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on restaurants and retail. This critical localized initiative is designed to provide funding and promotion to help National Landing restaurants and small businesses in need of immediate support.   The “Love Local” program will distribute financial support to all eligible open, brick & mortar small business or...
Funds Will Support Open and Eligible National Landing Restaurants and Small Businesses   (Arlington, VA) – March 15, 2021 – National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) has joined forces with the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) to announce a $100,000 relief program called, “Love Local” to address the upending impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This critical localized initiative is designed to provide funding and promotion to help National Landing restaurants and small businesses in need of immediate support.   “...
The "Workplace Safety During the COVID19 Pandemic Temporary Amendment Act of 2021” passed its second reading. This legislation passed as emergency legislation and thus is effective upon it being signed by the Mayor. RAMW was very concerned about the passage of this legislation and the burdens it places on operators as they attempt to survive the pandemic. However, through many conversations with Councilmember Silverman and other members of the Council, RAMW was able to have some changes made in the final version passed to make the legislation more palatable for our industry. The...
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio, Department of Small and Local Development (DSLBD) Director Kristi C. Whitfield, Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture Director Shawn Townsend, and local Business Improvement District partners announced a second round of citywide personal protective equipment (PPE) care packages to businesses. District officials announced the new PPE care packages while celebrating the opening of the first East of the River streatery at Busboys and Poets Anacostia. “...
DC Health Link Assisters are working with small businesses to support their DC resident employees who are losing or have lost their health insurance to help them enroll in a DC Health Link individual health plan, or apply for Medicaid, so they remain covered during this public health crisis. RAMW can assist you in providing information to your staff by proactively engaging with DC Health Link to reach out to your staff members to discuss their coverage options. DC Health Link has options for employers and individuals who are looking for affordable coverage. If you are...
Groundbreaking collaboration provides detailed copyright information for more than 20 million songs, including reconciled ownership shares, offering greater transparency for the industry NEW YORK – (December 21, 2020) – ASCAP and BMI, the nation’s two leading performing rights organizations, today announced the launch of SONGVIEW, a comprehensive data platform that provides music users with an authoritative view of copyright ownership and administration shares in the vast majority of music licensed in the United States. SONGVIEW technology allows ASCAP and...

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