1/6/21
The Slice gives you all the news you can use. Each issue will include any COVID-19 updates, reopening information, legislative news, and other relevant items for our readers. Please let us know if you'd like to see anything in particular or have other feedback - just email marketing@vrlta.org.
A Message from VRLTA President Eric Terry

As we come off of perhaps the most difficult year ever for hospitality and tourism, I look hopefully toward a better 2021. The past year brought many challenges, but I am proud of the way our members and staff worked together over the past year to innovate, advocate, educate, and support one another.

Organizations worked tirelessly to adapt and learn, reinventing hospitality and tourism practically overnight and continuing to pivot throughout the year as required. Localities and DMOs developed programs addressing needs of their communities and serving those in need. VRLTA focused on keeping you informed; advocated for help at the federal, state, and local levels; created the Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund (which has raised over $60,000 for hospitality employees and businesses); and found new ways to communicate to and engage with our membership.

We feel more connected than ever with you, and we plan to bring this engagement and enthusiasm into the new year. With the vaccine rollout, there is light at the end of the tunnel for hospitality. The path may be long, but know that VRLTA will continue to work every day to support the recovery of the industry we all love.

Our staff wishes you the best for the coming year. Let us know how we can help you.

Eric
What's the Latest?
Weekly Government Affairs Calls Start THIS FRIDAY
 
Starting this Friday, January 8, at 2 p.m., VRLTA will be hosting our weekly Government Affairs calls. Join us to hear more about VRLTA's legislative priorities, what's happening during the upcoming session, and how the Association is supporting or opposing hospitality- and tourism-related legislation.
Governor's Wednesday Update: Vows to Speed Up Vaccine Delivery; Food Service & Hospitality Workers Part of Group 1c
 
Governor Northam announced Wednesday that the Commonwealth is working to speed up the distribution of vaccines; additionally, he named Richmond and Henrico Health Director Dr. Danny Avula as the new leader for the state's vaccination coordination.

Important to our industry, he identified food service and hospitality workers as an upcoming priority. This is great news for VRLTA members - read more here. You can find a specific listing of vaccination groups here. Our current understanding is that food infrastructure and supply chain workers are part of Group 1b, and restaurant/hospitality workers are part of Group 1c. We will continue to update you as news is available.
VRLTA Job Board: FREE Listings for VRLTA Members Extended!

Have you posted a job on VRLTA's new job board, focused specifically on our industry?

Employers can list hospitality and tourism jobs, and VRLTA members get unlimited listings for free (choose 30, 60 or 90 days - up to $100 value for each listing!). A 30-day listing for nonmembers is just $50. Job seekers can search jobs statewide and post their resume in the resume bank.

Let VRLTA help your business during this challenging time with a job board focused just on hospitality and tourism jobs. Take advantage of your membership and get free listings through the end of the year. There's no cost or risk to members - why not give it a try?

Want to list a position? It's SO easy...click here to learn more.
January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
 
How can you support this important issue? Here are two ways...

FIRST - On January 11 at 10 a.m. EST, AHLA will hold a virtual No Room for Trafficking Awareness Event in partnership with It’s a Penalty, the Tampa Super Bowl Host Committee, A21, and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association to launch It’s A Penalty’s 2021 Super Bowl Campaign to harness the power of sports to fight human trafficking. As part of this effort, there will be a short, virtual training at 11 a.m. EST to raise awareness and educate hotel employees about the signs and ways to report instances of trafficking. 
Second - Support the Blue Campaign’s largest initiative – #WearBlueDay – on January 11 by taking a photo of you and your colleagues wearing blue clothes and sharing it on social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – along with the #WearBlueDay hashtag. Anyone can participate, all you need is a piece of blue clothing! Follow @DHSBlueCampaign on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more information about #WearBlueDay and Campaign efforts throughout the year.

VRLTA Welcomes New Members & Thanks Renewing Members!
 
Welcome new members:
 
Restaurants:
  • Hopewell Quick Lunch
  • Marker 20
  • Mitchell’s Restaurant and Lounge Inc.
     
Suppliers:
  • Taylor Freezer Company - Featured Supplier

Thank you to our renewing members:
 
Partner:
  • Sysco Hampton Roads & Sysco Virginia - Platinum Partner

Lodging:

  • Hotel Floyd
  • Quirk Hotel Richmond
  • The Jefferson Hotel
  • The Oceanfront Inn
  • The Village Inn
  • Massanutten Resort
  • Luray Caverns Motels
  • Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner

Travel:
  • Luray Caverns
  • Visit Fairfax
  • VisitNorfolk
  • Visit Loudoun
  • Charlottesville/Albemarle CVB
  • Visit Alexandria
  • Grand Caverns/Town of Grottos
  • Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
 
Restaurant:
  • The Inn at Little Washington
  • F & B Restaurant Management
  • Villagio Hospitality Group – (2 Silos Brewing, The Black Sheep Restaurant, & Trattoria Villagio)
  • Virginia Diner

Supplier:
  • ECCA Payroll+
  • Virginia Lottery – Featured Supplier
  • Virginia Wine & Spirits Academy
Upcoming Events
Mark Your Calendar! All events are free unless noted

  • January 8, 2 p.m. - Weekly Government Affairs Zoom Call (each Friday at 2 p.m. through February 12). Zoom link here.
  • February 10, 10 a.m. - Webinar Wednesday: How to Gain Organic Traction on Your Instagram Page. Register here. For VRLTA members.
Government Affairs
VRLTA's Legislative Outreach
 
Over the last few months, VRLTA staff and members have been continuing to develop and build on relationships with Virginia legislators. Meetings since mid-December (continuing through the start of next week's General Assembly session) include:

Northern Virginia
  • Senator George Barker
  • Senator Barbara Favola
  • Delegate Mark Keam
  • Senator Jeremy McPike
  • Delegate Kathleen Murphy
  • Delegate David Reid
  • Delegate Suhas Subramanyam
  • Delegate Rip Sullivan
  • Delegate Michael Webert

Hampton Roads
  • Delegate Alex Askew
  • Delegate Rob Bloxom
  • Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler
  • Senator Bill DeSteph
  • Delegate Cliff Hayes
  • Delegate Jay Jones
  • Senator Jen Kiggans
  • Delegate Barry Knight
  • Delegate Jay Leftwich
  • Senator Louise Lucas

Peninsula
  • Delegate Amanda Batten
  • Senator Monty Mason
  • Delegate Martha Mugler
  • Delegate Shelly Simonds

Southwest
  • Delegate Terry Kilgore
  • Delegate Charles Poindexter

Southside
  • Delegate Emily Brewer

Northern Neck
  • Delegate Keith Hodges
  • Senator Ryan McDougle

Central Virginia (Charlottesville and Richmond)
  • Delegate Betsy Carr
  • Delegate Kirk Cox
  • Delegate Carrie Coyner
  • Senator Creigh Deeds
  • Senator Joe Morrissey
  • Senator Bryce Reeves
  • Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg
  • Delegate Scott Wyatt
Action Needed: Weigh in as VDOLI Looks to Make COVID Regulations Permanent
 
As you have previously heard from us, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry adopted an Emergency Temporary Standard related to COVID-19 over the summer. VRLTA was opposed to that regulation because of the burdensome requirements it would place on the already struggling hospitality and tourism community. Regrettably, the VDOLI is now looking to adopt these COVID-19 regulations as a permanent standard. While VRLTA has been able to get significant amendments made the it, we believe it’s going to create significant hardships for restaurants, hotels, venues, campgrounds, and attractions. In addition, with the roll out of the vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, the need for a permanent standard is unnecessary. We strongly urge you to weigh in with the VDOLI Health and Safety Codes Board and share with them your thoughts and concerns. The deadline to comment is January 9th.
 
 
You can comment on the proposed permanent standard here: https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/comments.cfm?GeneralNoticeid=1177
Virginia Department of Health Guidelines for Employee Testing and Quarantine, Facility Closure
 
Do you have questions about what it may mean for your business if you have an employee who tests positive or is in close contact with someone who did? Check out this guidance document from the VDH.

The NRA also updated their safe operating guidance recently. Find that here.
Small Business Administration Releases Additional PPP Guidance
 
SBA, in consultation with the Treasury Department, has recently released additional PPP guidance:
 

For more information and updates, visit SBA.gov/PPP or Treasury.gov/CARES 
More News You Can Use
Thank You, Highland Brewing, for Supporting the Virginia Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund

We are pleased to announce that Highland Brewing has contributed $300 to the VRLTA Restaurant and Hospitality Relief Fund. Thank you!

The donation was from a portion of sales of their Gaelic Ale, which is distributed in areas of the state such as Roanoke, Bristol, Martinsville, Salem, and Radford.
The Relief Fund has already distributed thousands of dollars to organizations around the state. To learn more about the recipient organizations, visit this page.
Step Up to the Table Campaign

A new initiative designed to help restaurants, called Step Up to the Table, has been launched. It's easy to participate: purchase a restaurant gift card, share the experience on social media using #StepUpToTheTable, and challenge others to do the same.

Learn more here. If you take the challenge, remember to tag #VRLTA!

Restaurants, you can sign up to appear on the website!
Got an Innovative Solution for COVID?

Have you implemented something innovative around serving customers during COVID-19? Send us an image and we'll share it on our social accounts.