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Operations and Washington DC

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...
PLEASE READ THIS IN ITS ENTIRETY. Tuesday, March 17, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. Included is a provision that allows ABC-licensed restaurants and taverns to sell beer, wine, and spirits in closed containers for carry-out and/or delivery to DC residences in conjunction with the purchase of one or more prepared food items. Before an eligible restaurant or tavern may sell beer, wine, and spirits in closed containers for carry-out and delivery, they must register...
DC Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Can Now Apply for Federal Relief Funds (WASHINGTON, DC) – Tuesday, March 17, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the US Small Business Administration (SBA) has accepted the District of Columbia’s declaration for assistance in the form of economic injury disaster loans following the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and DC businesses can start applying now. While the SBA directly administers this loan program, the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), led by Director Kristi Whitfield, will liaise...
Dear Restaurant Community,  We have a few important updates to share with you based on what was passed by the DC City Council and recommendations from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Tuesday, March 17, 2020. We are also sharing what is a work in progress and happening on the Federal level. This is a long email, but includes important information, so please read the entire message as most of your questions could be answered with this update.  DC Update The DC City Council just voted on Emergency Legislation, which means it goes into effect immediately upon the Mayor's...
BREAKING NEWS DC Mayor Muriel Bowser issued guidelines banning on premise dining at restaurants starting at 10pm tonight and through April 1, 2020 at 6am. Restaurants and bars are still able to offer meals to go through take out, delivery or curbside service. Read the Mayor's order here.  Tomorrow, the DC Council is introducing Emergency Legislation that will offer relief for the local industry and its workers. More to come on what this relief package looks like tomorrow.   As a reminder, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan banned on premise dining...
A Note from the Desk of RAMW's President & CEO, Kathy E. Hollinger Dear RAMW Members, I am beyond proud of the resilience of our industry. As you are all very aware, everything has been turned upside down, and this is a quickly evolving situation. This does not take away from the fact that we are a community of small businesses that through the years have successfully adapted to changing times. We are impressed with your agility during this current situation, as you put in place rapid changes that are necessary in order to put the public health of your staff, diners, friends...
As an association we are focused on protecting restaurant operators during this incredible time for you as a business owner, we have also heard from so many of you about your concerns rooted in your employees. There are some local grassroots efforts to help workers, as you may have seen.  We are collaborating with Hook Hall Helps who are helping to ensure that workers have access to to-go meals and supplies. We started a Worker Relief Fund as well that has raised $14,000+ in 48 hours. First and foremost, we needed to just act on something quickly. This will be...
(Washington, DC) While the District of Columbia Government will begin to modify its operations starting Monday, March 16, in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the District government wants residents to know that it will continue to deliver essential services and keep the majority of its systems and services operating. Operations and Infrastructure District Department of Transportation (DDOT) DDOT remains open, with most DDOT staff teleworking through Tuesday, March 31. Programs that will maintain normal operations are: DC Circulator will operate its...
PLEASE READ IMPORTANT REAL TIME UPDATES BELOW REGARDING YOUR OPERATIONS. All restaurants and community members have to be mindful as to how we are changing our operating culture to accommodate and enforce the new guidelines to ensure public health is the priority. It will require rethinking offerings and adjusting operations. We encourage you to think creatively about how your food offerings may look different. Newly Issued Guidelines for DC Restaurants and Tavern License Holders DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, has just released new guidance that directly impacts the restaurant and hospitality...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association What should your business do to prepare for a pandemic? Here are 10 steps to take now! Step 1: Maintain a healthy work environment. Ensure adequate air circulation and post tips on how to stop the spread of germs. Promote hand and respiratory hygiene. Ensure wide availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (not just in places required by law). Provide sanitizing supplies for frequent cleaning of surfaces and equipment. Remind employees to report any illness to their manager especially if they are sick with...
NOTE TO OUR COMMUNITY Some of you reading this are members, others are not, but all are worried about your business and employees given the current situation. We understand, we are worried too, however you should feel confident that in difficult times, which this industry has faced before, we have prevailed best when we come together as a community and face it head on. We urge you to stay strong, stay clear-minded, and know that you are not alone in this. We are working for you, and there are many efforts in motion. Understanding that you are concerned...

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