Volume 23 | June 11, 2021
Call to Action: We Need You to Reach Out to Your State Senator Today!
$300M NC Hospitality Grant Being Negotiated 

We need your help now to urge state lawmakers to allocate $300 million in federal funds for a grant program to help N.C. restaurants, bars, and hotels. N.C. Senate leadership is in final negotiations on the state budget and use of the latest federal COVID relief funds, and the time is NOW to get this passed.
It is critical that you reach out today to your Senator to support the $300 million hospitality relief grant! The program, as proposed by NCRLA, would see restaurants, bars, and hotels eligible for the funding if they have seen a 15% or greater loss of sales. The business would then receive a direct grant of 10% of the loss. 

It is critical that you urge your Senator to support the $300 million hospitality relief grant! Click below to add your voice.
House and Senate Finally Agree on Top-line Budget Numbers

The N.C. House and N.C. Senate have agreed on how much they want state government to spend: $25.72 billion for 2021-22 and $26.7 billion for 2022-23, which puts the General Assembly on track to send a budget to Gov. Roy Cooper by the end of July.
The budget agreement does not include details on taxes, but the chambers did agree on wanting tax reductions. It dedicates at least $4.2 billion in new capital spending funded through the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund. They said the $25.7 billion in spending doesn’t include debt service payments. Those will come from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund, they said.
The governor’s office indicated Tuesday this first round falls far short of what our state needs. NCRLA will continue to advocate for a number of items in the budget and is working for them to be included in every budget developed. 
Senate PPP Grant and Tax Reform Bill Passes Senate

This week, the Senate passed its gutted and amended version of House Bill 334: JOBS Grants and Tax Relief, which includes the Senate’s tax and PPP deductibility plan. Under HB334, businesses that received assistance from any federal or state COVID relief program (including PPP) would be eligible to receive a one-time grant for equal to 7.5% of the award amount or 7.5% of $250,000, whichever is less. The maximum grant a qualifying business could receive per award amount would be $18,750.

The latest version of HB334 also contains several tax-related proposals, perhaps foremost reducing the corporate income tax rate from 2.5% currently to 0% in 2028. The 2.5% rate is the lowest among the 44 states that have a corporate income tax. HB334 also would lower the state income tax from 5.25% to 4.99%, while the state’s child-tax deduction would increase by $500 to a maximum $3,000 annually for families that claim the federal child tax credit.

The personal income tax deduction would be increased from $21,500 to $25,000 for a married couple, from $16,125 to $19,125 for a head of household, and from $10,750 to $12,750 for single taxpayers. Those changes would take effect Jan. 1. According to a legislative fiscal staff note, the state would lose a projected $584.3 million in personal income tax revenue in fiscal 2021-22, along with $1.29 billion in 2022-23, $1.32 billion in 2023-24, $1.36 billion in 2024-25 and $1.4 billion in 2025-26.
General Assembly's Session Likely Will Stretch into August

Delays in negotiating the budget will likely mean this year’s session stretches into August, behind the goal of getting a budget to Gov. Cooper by the end of June. Senate leaders hope to release their budget proposal for votes during the week of June 21. From there, the House plans to get its budget done "mid- to three-quarters of July; at the latest, maybe the first week in August,” Senate leader Phil Berger said. Then conference negotiations would take another one to two weeks. Both the House and Senate have agreed to hold only no-vote sessions during the week of July 5.

In addition to the budget, the Senate leader said he’d also like to see action on election law changes and governor’s emergency powers before adjournment. Once the budget is done, the legislature will likely take a break until Census data is ready to begin the redistricting process.
Take a look at all the bills that NCRLA is tracking here:
RRF Replenishment Act
NCRLA and our partners at the National Restaurant Association have been working with the sponsors of the RESTAURANTS Act on legislation that would replenish the RRF program. The sponsors are expected to soon introduce the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act, a bill to provide $60B in new money for the RRF program. Since the original funding was about $50B short of addressing the needs of all applicants, we know that continued relief grants are critical for an industry that remains incredibly vulnerable. Click below to tell your elected officials to replenish the RRF.
NC Hospitality Job Board

NCRLA's first-ever NC Hospitality Job Board continues to grow as a free site for any employer in this sector to list open positions. Over 290 jobs are now posted.

We have reached out to the applicants of the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund to let them know about the job board and are continuing to engage with this audience. In addition, we will be driving traffic to the site through a new marketing campaign, so stay tuned for more news.

If you haven't already signed up for a free account to post your job openings, these directions will guide you through the process. List your jobs today! For questions, contact Shannon McGuire. 
Gov. Cooper Announces $4 Million Summer Cash and College Tuition Drawings

As part of North Carolina’s effort to encourage more North Carolinians to receive COVID-19 vaccines, Governor Roy Cooper announced $4 Million Summer Cash and College Tuition drawings to motivate those who have not yet been vaccinated — and thank those who have. Four vaccinated North Carolinians 18 and older will win $1 million each and four North Carolinians ages 12 to 17 will win tuition for post-secondary education. Executive Order 219, which has concurrence from the North Carolina Council of State, authorizes the drawings. Drawings will take place every other week on Wednesdays with the first drawing on June 23. New entries will close at midnight on the Sunday prior to the Wednesday drawing at midnight. Winners will be verified and then announced. Those vaccinated starting today, June 10, will be entered twice for each drawing increasing the chance of winning for the newly vaccinated. Visit SummerVaxCash.com for details about the program. 
Save Hotel Jobs Act Calls for Critical Support Now

Our national partner, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has been working for months on the Save Hotel Jobs Act, which provides a lifeline to hotel workers and hoteliers, providing critical assistance to bring back workers and to help bridge the gap. While leisure travel is resuming, business travel is down and is not expected to return soon. Full recovery is not expected until 2024. The Save Hotel Jobs Act will provide critical support right now.
Other hard-hit industries have received direct aid, but hotels are suffering just as badly if not worse than any other sector of the economy. To gain support for this bill so it has a chance of becoming law we need your help TODAY.
Corporate Partner Highlights
The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association serves to advance and protect
the interests of more than 20,000 businesses that employ 11 percent of the state’s workforce
and generate more than $27.3 billion in sales annually.
NCRLA.org | 919-844-0098