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Operating a restaurant involves a lot of moving parts – most controlled by you, but many controlled by laws, regulations, licenses and permits. Alcoholic beverages, food safety, labor practices and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (the healthcare mandate) are significant – and then there is everything else.

Get to know the regulatory agencies that govern such things as sidewalk cafes, signage, noise, fire safety and more. And, get to know about the efforts being made by RAMW on your behalf to improve the regulatory environment.

DC Relief Measures and Regional Updates

July 7, 2020
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 states,...

Why Restaurants May Now Benefit from a Paycheck Protection Program Loan

July 6, 2020
On July 4, President Trump signed into law a bill that allows potential borrowers another five weeks to get a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Many restaurants elected not to take a PPP loan when the program was rolled out in April because of its requirement to rehire staff, along with the administrative headaches and unclear rules established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). But over the past few months, the dust has settled and the program is now more appealing for restaurants in several key respects. First, borrowers will have 24 weeks (instead of the original 8 weeks) to...

Staying the Course This Holiday Weekend and Beyond

July 2, 2020
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 continue to...

Northern Virginia and DC Updates 6/30

June 30, 2020
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 tables, must be limited to 250...

DC and VA Updates, Reminders, and Resources

June 25, 2020
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 forgiveness. Loan forgiveness will...

Regional Operational Updates and PPP Forgiveness

June 23, 2020
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 Virginia,...

DSLBD DC Business Toolkit

June 22, 2020
If you have not gotten the chance yet, check out the DC Business Toolkit. The DC Business Toolkit is an interactive online portal that centralizes the vast number of business assistance resources that are available citywide through DSLBD, sister agencies and service providers. This allows District businesses and residents exploring entrepreneurship to quickly find and use these tools to open, operate and grow their business in the District of Columbia. Additionally, the DC Business Toolkit helps businesses promote themselves to prospective customers and make unique B2B connections with local...

ABRA Releases Rules for Phase Two

June 19, 2020
Following the Mayor’s announcement earlier today on Phase Two, please find The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) rulemaking regarding Phase Two of Reopening which permits indoor dining at 50% capacity. If you have not already reviewed the Mayor’s Order for Phase Two and additional guidance provided by DOH, I recommend you do so. Click here for the Mayor’s Order. Click here for the DC DOH Guidance document. ABRA’s Emergency Rulemaking Below is a brief summary of what was included in ABRA’s rulemaking which provides additional requirements for how...

Reopening Updates Heading into the Weekend

June 19, 2020
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...

Demonstrations on Juneteenth

June 18, 2020
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 and support can be...