Coronavirus Daily Update 3.19.20
Our friends at the Massachusetts Food Association pass along that grocery stores are at critical mass for employees, and any recently laid off restaurant employee could most likely get hired quickly for a short-term position.
 
February Meals Tax Collections are due to be filed and remitted tomorrow:
The MRA has been in conversations with the government all day. Penalties will be waived for any operators with the highest level of government regarding penalties and interest and we believe we are making progress. One issue that we can say for sure is that once monies have been remitted, there is no process for that money to be returned.
UPDATE: Massachusetts will waive any penalties associated with a late file for this time period. The Governor’s office will administratively waive any late penalties. The legislature must take action to authorize waiving any interest. We have turned our attention to the legislature to get this addressed as well.


 
ABCC issues advisory regarding the 60-day credit rule.
This advisory goes back to any invoices issued after January 18. This order is open ended and can be extended at the discretion of the Commission.
Click to here to see advisory.
 
The COVID-19 Resources and Guidance for Businesses webpage includes information on the SBA declaration as well as the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund and other resources and guidance for businesses.
 
Unemployment Insurance:
Stand by Status:
Emergency regulations were adopted today. The regulations create a special standby status. That means that individuals who are temporarily unemployed due to lack of work because of COVID 19 will be eligible. The individual will be considered unemployed due to lack of work regardless of whether the individual’s workplace is shut down or if the individual needs to stay home for any reason related to COVID 19.
 
Partial Unemployment:
The test for partial unemployment is that the employee is working less than full time, earning less than the unemployment benefits he/she would be entitled to collect if fully unemployed and the failure to work full time is due to the employer not providing such work.

Operator Considerations
Lease Issues:
The Lease issues facing operators are numerous and complex. Often, they will include rights to a liquor license on the premises and whether the landlord has any such rights. Similarly, a lender/bank may have rights under a security or pledge agreement. Operators need to be aware of such rights to preserve/protect their interests in the event of default. Operators should also explore whether a Lease provides any relief because of the impossibility of performance due to the State of Emergency, Government Action, the Public Health emergency and/or under a Force Majeure clause of the Lease.

Support from Our Partners
The restaurant industry has always been known to muster support of their own in times of incredible challenges. This time it is no different as a couple of our partners have developed programs to assist both displaced hourly tipped employees and another to assist in driving revenues to restaurants through gift card purchases in this difficult time. Both these are great support vehicles our restaurants that should be shared via your social media outlets with your guests. 

Restaurant Strong Fund was established through a collaboration between Sam Adams and the Greg Hill Foundation. It is specifically designed to support full time tipped employees whose employment has been interrupted by the restaurant closers impact of Corvid 19. The goal is to provide $1000 grants to as many qualified applicants as possible.  Use the following link to learn more about making donations or for the application to apply for a grant:  Restaurant Strong Fund
 
Rally For Restaurants has been developed by our friends at Toast POS to assist in supporting restaurants that cannot open for on premise service through gift card sales. It is a simple platform website dedicated to drive gift card sales for our local restaurants with a:
  1. Find a Restaurant
  2. Buy a gift card – or five
  3. Share with #RallyforRestaurants
  4. Challenge a Friend
  5. All details can be found at: www.rallyforrestaurants.com


As more information becomes available regarding government intervention, we will send it out to you immediately.
Massachusetts Restaurant Association
160 East Main Street, Suite 2, Westborough, MA 01581
Phone: (508) 303-9905   www.themassrest.org