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Operations and Washington DC

We shared a great deal of information earlier today, understanding there is a lot to digest.  We are working with partners to get all relevant information to you in a digestible way through various platforms.     What we do know is this:  The bill has a lot of relief that will benefit our industry, specifically to include the kind of independent operators in our unique market.  We also know that what you care the most about are relief for your employees, relief measures for YOU, and resources that can best guide you through how to get the relief outlined in the...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association The goal is to help operators and their employees practice safe food handling and delivery during the coronavirus pandemic. For 30 years, ServSafe has been at the forefront of preparing restaurant and foodservice employees to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests while also keeping themselves safe. This mission is as important as ever during the service disruptions caused by the coronavirus. ServSafe is offering free resources to restaurateurs focusing on takeout and delivery during the coronavirus crisis. The goal is to...
Late last night, the Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion Coronavirus rescue package. The legislation is meant to blunt the economic impact of the Coronavirus on the local and national economy. The House will likely vote Friday morning.  The package includes :    $349 billion program for the SBA to offer unique loans to small businesses Tax benefits in the form of net operating loss Qualified Improvement Property Creates a Paycheck Protection Program Employee Retention Tax Credit Community Development Block Grants Delay of payment...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association Gift-card sales are a much-needed revenue source during the pandemic disruption. Cards appeal to homebound customers and play a big part in community outreach efforts. As coronavirus disrupts the US, restaurant owners and operators are looking for alternative ways to create much-needed revenue for their businesses. One way is promoting the purchase of online and digital gift cards, especially with everyone social distancing. Rocklands Farm Winery in Poolesville, MD, is using its gift card program to create an extra source of revenue...
Dear Operator,   We wanted to share some helpful end of day updates as well as resources and opportunities for education, support and relief.  As you have any questions please email coronavirus@ramw.org and we will get back to you with a timely response.   Complimentary ServSafe Training As the industry faces ongoing challenges with COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association remains dedicated to helping everyone stay safe. ServSafe has been at the forefront of preparing restaurant and foodservice workers to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests, while also...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association Survey of more than 4,000 operators offers details on how outbreak is hurting sales, operations. As the coronavirus epidemic rages on, 3% of restaurant operators have already permanently closed their restaurants, 44% have temporarily closed their restaurants, and 11% say they anticipate they will permanently close within the next 30 days, according to new research from the National Restaurant Association. A new Association survey of 4,000 operators found that 44% have temporarily closed their restaurants, and 11% say they anticipate...
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) recently announced  service changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.   Effective as of, Wednesday, March 25, WMATA will be fully closing 17 stations and partially closing others to ensure adequate staffing, bringing the total to 19. All service changes made by WMATA are indefinite until otherwise announced. WMATA strongly encourages only essential travel on Metro. WMATA has waived all fares for bus travel and strongly encourages only those with essential travel to use the buses. Station Closures:...
ServSafe is offering their Food Handler course online for free for the next 30 days begining Wednesday, March 25. Additionally, they are offering new COVID-19 Take Out & Delivery courses at no cost.  For 30 years, ServSafe has been at the forefront of preparing restaurant and foodservice workers to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests, while also keeping themselves safe. Every day, we train the restaurant and food service industry on topics like cooking temperatures, safe storage, and cross contamination, as well as hygiene, sanitation, and other risk mitigation...
Restaurant workers are considered essential employees that can be asked to come to work even when there are federal, state, or local, shelter-in-place Orders.  Still, more and more states and localities are restraining travel, particularly during certain hours of the day, while restaurant workers need to arrive earlier than the time restrictions to make bread, brew coffee, etc., and stay past curfew to clean, disinfect, and close the premises. Meanwhile, some restaurant workers are running into issues with law enforcement restricting workers movement to and from work.   The...
Effective 10:00pm Wednesday, March 25, 2020 On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Mayor Bowser announced as part of the District's effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 that she will issue a Mayor’s order based on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), mandating the closure of nonessential businesses such as salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, retail clothing stores and "services not devoted to assisting essential business operations" similar to orders issued Monday in neighboring Maryland and Virginia. A copy of the Mayor’s Order is included below....
DC Operators, The process to apply for DC Small Business Microgrants went live at 2pm today. Many of you, we understand, are trying to apply today and have questions or are experiencing glitches and need clarification. We are aware and hearing from hundreds of you. There are glitches any time a new program is launched and we are here with you to get answers and clarity. To streamline this effort and to best help all of you, we are gathering all concerns, questions, and glitches in one place and will send all of your concerns and issues to the Deputy Mayor's Office (DMPED) this...
Dear Operators, We hope you are all staying strong. Here are updates for Tuesday, March 24, 2020.  Restaurant Rescue Campaign First, as we aim to tell your story and show the impact of COVID-19 on the food service industry, we will join a social media campaign tomorrow called #RESTAURANTRESCUEPLAN. We will document on social media the number of employees who work at restaurants, bars and clubs in the region that have been laid off or furloughed to powerfully present to our government leaders and the public the devastation COVID-19 has had on our industry and why we need a #...
We have heard from several of you that some DC Unemployment Insurance applications your employees are submitting are being denied because they are selecting that they are “not actively looking for jobs”. We have talked to the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) about this and they have acknowledged there is a glitch that is being fixed. The form is currently being updated.   When employees file, they should be putting “COVID-19” as the reasoning. If denied, employees should file an appeal. We will have further information on how to do this shortly...
WASHINGTON – Monday, March 23, 2020, US Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, are now automatic. The changes mean borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment. “The SBA is looking at every option and taking every action to cut red tape to make it easier for small businesses to stay in business. Automatically deferring existing SBA disaster loans through...
ATTENTION DC RESIDENTS: You can now enroll in private health insurance even though open enrollment is over. As part of DC Health Link's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, they are offering a special enrollment period to allow those who are uninsured to enroll in private health insurance now. You can also apply for Medicaid at any time. ENROLL NOW Find out more about how DC Health Link and our health insurance plans are making sure you can get the care you need for COVID-19.
Landover, MD – Keany Produce & Gourmet has donated over $100,000 worth of fresh produce during the COVID-19 lockdown. Since Friday, March 13, 2020 through Friday, March 20, 2020, Keany has donated fresh produce to various food banks, food halls, and charities to support their efforts of supplying community members with access to fresh food. Keany has deployed their own fleet of trucks to distribute these donations across the DC-metro region. “While the effects of COVID-19 are certainly impacting our business, we want to do everything we can to support our surrounding...
So far, Congress has received more than 170,000 calls and emails urging relief for restaurants ASAP! And, there's still time to take action! If you have not taken action yet, we need your help to ensure relief for restaurants and our employees is properly addressed in the current legislative package! CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION Economic forecasts indicate restaurants and the foodservice industry could sustain $225 billion in losses and eliminate 5-7 million jobs over the next three months. By taking action, you can tell your personalized story about how this has negatively...
Dear RAMW Community,   As promised here is some end of day news as we head into the weekend.   As a reminder please visit https://www.ramw.org/blog 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...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association Comprehensive guide, updated daily, houses all state ordinances in one place so operators can quickly understand how to comply with the rules and share resources. As restaurants deal with a patchwork of mandates directing the way they operate during the coronavirus pandemic, the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Compliance Team has created a COVID-19 Resources by State document to help operators navigate and comply with the directives and mandates coming in from across the country. The Association is...
Updated – The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. Any such Economic Injury...
As much as we have been sending information around about what is happening locally across the region, it is critically important to be aware of what is happening on the national level, as a majority of funding for relief and stimulus will come at the federal level. The action taken on the Hill impacts us locally, so we must be engaged.  We have two important Congressional updates, and one involves you taking action TODAY. First, we need you to ACT NOW to ensure Congress provides adequate relief to the restaurant and small business industry! This is the "Call to...
The DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board adopted an emergency rulemaking prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption starting Thursday, March 19th at 4pm. You cannot serve alcoholic beverages to people while they wait for their food order. This is in effect through the duration of either or both the Mayor’s Public Emergency and Public Health Emergency.  Please note for delivery and takeout of alcoholic beverages: they must be provided in sealed container and a beer with a lime in the top does not count as a seal. Establishments...
A helpful guide for suspending/closing your restaurant under challenging and difficult circumstances Let staff take any food that cannot be frozen/saved. Remove all trash from the building/Cancel Dumpster Pickups. Take pourers off and tightly wrap open bottle tops of liquor in saran. Leave all exhaust fans running - In the unlikely event of a gas leak or pilot goes out during the closing, the fans will help to exhaust any hazardous gas from the building. Turn off any autopayment processes. Cancel any scheduled deliveries. Examples would include: Broadline Distributer...
Dear Operators, We hosted an industry-wide call this morning with regional leaders and we understand there were some technical difficulties. We had hundreds of people on the call, but as other businesses and organizations are needing to do everything by conference call, the platform was overloaded. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are synthesizing the information from the call to share on our website including FAQs and resources shared on that call. This will be available later today on our blog where we are posting all real-time updates and resources. Please share with...
Dear Restaurant Community, As we try to give you up to date information, we ask that you also be patient as we are doing our best to respond to each and every email and also provide you with information that has been subject to change.  We received an influx of questions and want to provide some clarification shared in our earlier email.  UPDATED INFO Virginia: Governor Northam Mandates 10 or fewer patrons Governor Ralph Northam issued a new statement that changes his recommendation to a mandate, which limits the number of patrons to 10 or less. Restaurants are...

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