11/5/20
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.
What's the Latest?
Election News
 
Although the final results of the presidential race are still unknown, VRLTA has plans to continue to advocate for our members and the hospitality and tourism industries. We will continue to work with both the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association to further our aims on a national level. In addition, VRLTA will build on the strong advocacy work we've done over the last few years to work for our members at the state, regional, and local levels. Rest assured, we are working for you!
AHLA is hosting a webinar TODAY at 2 p.m. Join AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers and Government Affairs EVP Brian Crawford for a timely webinar as they break down the election results. Topics include: What happens to the balance in Congress? Which races are too close to call? How will the results impact hotel industry priorities? What do the results mean for another relief package?
NRA Election Update from Yesterday

If you didn't receive it, here is text from an email yesterday from Tom Bene, President and CEO of the NRA with an accompanying update:

Dear Association and Foundation Board Members:
 
Like all of you, we are carefully monitoring the latest updates on election results. As we do that, I wanted to share with you what the National Restaurant Association will be doing over the next few days.
 
Below is an update from the Public Affairs team on the latest state-of-play and which races and states they are watching. We will provide daily updates as events unfold and as new information becomes available.
 
Regardless of who occupies the White House or who takes leadership of the House and Senate, the restaurant industry has an array of immediate needs as well as long-term opportunities and challenges that must be addressed in Washington. The Public Affairs team is preparing a presentation that outlines what conclusions we can draw from the election results, what we’ll be focusing on at the start of 2021, and the assets the Association, our partners, and our members bring to the table. We will offer this presentation to our membership and our SRA partners. The timing for a rollout of such a presentation remains fluid as we still need more certainty on election results.
 
The fundamental importance of our industry will continue to transcend party lines in Washington. We have a diverse workforce; we serve every community across the nation; and our economic impact remains tremendously relevant to policymakers. We will pair this with continued quality research, communications, and advocacy efforts to advance our cause at the federal, state, and local levels.
 
We will continue to provide updates as results are announced. Thank you for everything you are doing.
 
Tom

NRA Election Update
 
These are the key takeaways as of mid-day Wednesday. Bottom line, whatever the outcome of the presidential election, it appears likely that the House will remain under Democratic control (with potentially Republican gains) and the Senate will remain under Republican control (with potentially Democratic gains).
 
The White House
The race for the White House continues to narrow. If President Trump retains his slight leads in the red to purple states of North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Georgia (16 electoral votes), all eyes will shift to the small handful of battlegrounds:
  • Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes),
  • Michigan (16 electoral votes),
  • Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), and
  • Nevada (6 electoral votes). 
Vice President Biden’s safest route to 270 is to secure Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada, in which case he doesn’t need North Carolina or Pennsylvania. Michigan and Wisconsin may be announced later today and Nevada possibly tomorrow.
 
The Senate
Republicans started the cycle at a distinct disadvantage, defending 23 Senate seats, compared to 12 for Democrats. Moreover, only two Democratic seats were ever in play, whereas Republicans had to aggressively defend 12 seats, including several in blue and purple states. 
 
Democrats vastly outraised their challengers, and outside spending for Democrats dwarfed that for Republicans. As a result, Democrats were able to dominate the airwaves and social media. While several key races remain, one thing is clear: the hoped-for blue wave to yield a tremendous number of pickups so far has failed to materialize. Despite the outsized spending and polls showing their candidates doing well, Democrats were unable to unseat Senators Joni Ernst (IA), Lindsey Graham (SC), Steve Daines (MT), Pat Roberts (KS), John Cornyn (TX), and Mitch McConnell (KY)—all states that they had heavily targeted. 
 
In Alabama, Republican Tommy Tuberville defeated Democrat Doug Jones, an outcome that was expected. In Michigan, Democrat Gary Peters is locked in a tight race with Republican John James.
 
Democrats gained seats in Colorado, with former Governor Hickenlooper defeating Republican incumbent Senator Cory Gardner, and in Arizona, with Scott Kelly defeating Martha McSally.
 
So where does that leave us in terms of the Senate’s balance of power?
 
If Joe Biden wins, Senate Republicans must hold their remaining net losses to one seat in order to retain control. As of this writing, the following are still pending a final count:
  • Tom Tillis (R-NC) currently retains a slight lead over his opponent, Cal Cunningham.
  • Susan Collins (R-ME) is currently above 50% in the state, with final tolls outstanding. She must remain above 50% to avoid her race against State Legislator Theresa Greenfield being decided by ranked choice selections.
  • Dan Sullivan is hoping to retain his seat in Alaska. While Al Gross is a formidable opponent, Sullivan should be optimistic by the current trend in red states.
  • Democrat Gary Peters remains in a tight race with Republican challenger John James.
  • Republican Senator Perdue is hoping to reach the 50% threshold in his race against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Otherwise, they will run against one another in a head-to-head special election on January 5.
  • Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock have emerged as the top two vote getters in their race and will run against one another in a special election on January 5.

House
Contrary to conventional and media wisdom, it was a positive night for the House GOP. Not enough progress to win back majority control of the House, but many seats were won where victory was far from certain. With several decisions outstanding, as of this writing, the Republican candidates have officially defeated seven Democratic incumbents and only lost two seats, which were the result of redistricting in North Carolina. 
 
While the House GOP holds leads in several other races, there are two incumbents narrowly behind in Arizona 7 (Schweikert) and California 25 (Garcia). No GOP incumbents have officially lost. Also of note, two years after electing only one women to its freshman class, of the seats flipping the GOP, women have won six out of seven. The following is a brief tally of the races called and some of those outstanding:
 
GOP Flips
  • FL-26 for Carlos Gimenez: GOP flip.
  • FL-27 for Maria Elvira Salazar: GOP flip.
  • IA-01 for Ashley Hinson: GOP flip.
  • MN-07 for Michelle Fischbach: GOP flip.
  • NM-02 for Yvette Herrell: GOP flip.
  • OK-05 for Stephanie Bice: GOP flip.
  • SC-01 for Nancy Mace: GOP flip.
 
Key Races Held by Incumbent (in VA)
  • VA-01 for Rob Wittman: GOP hold.
  • VA-05 for Bob Good: GOP hold.
AHLA Election Update from Yesterday

Here is information sent yesterday by AHLA:

Dear AHLA Member,
More than 14 hours after the first polls closed, the Presidential race and a number of key Congressional election contests are still undecided or too close to call. The race for the White House could drag on for days and possibly weeks, with legal challenges expected in closely contested states. 
At this hour, we expect that control of Congress will be divided, with Republicans likely maintaining control of the Senate, and Democrats holding the House with a slimmer majority. This scenario would create a system of checks and balances which could lead to bipartisan compromises on a number of key issues, most importantly on the issue of COVID relief for our industry. 
AHLA will continue to press Congressional leaders to reach a bipartisan, bicameral deal to provide additional relief and liquidity for the hotel industry, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Get the Latest Updates
AHLA will continue to provide you results as they become available throughout this week and in the meantime, these links will provide the latest information:
Live Presidential Race Results
Live Senate Race Results
Live House Race Results
Live Governors Race Results

Presidential Race
As of early this morning, the results of the presidential election remain undetermined. Vice President Joe Biden has 227 electoral votes, while President Donald Trump has 214. The race will likely come down to four states which are currently very close: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Vice President Biden has a narrow lead in Wisconsin. President Trump is currently leading in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, but Pennsylvania and Michigan have large numbers of mail-in ballots left to be counted, which could lean heavily towards Biden. President Trump must win any three of those four states in order to achieve an electoral college victory.
Congress
Republicans appear to be in position to retain control of the Senate. The Democrats flipped seats in Arizona and Colorado, while Republicans regained Alabama. As it stands this morning, many key races in the Senate have yet to be called including:
  • North Carolina – Senator Tillis (R) leads 48.7%-46.9% with 93% reporting.
  • Georgia – Senator Perdue (R) leads 50.8%-46.9% with 94% reporting.
  • Maine – Senator Collins (R) leads 50.9%-42.5% with 85% reporting.
  • Alaska – Senator Sullivan (R) leads 63.1%-32%, with 43% reporting.
  • Michigan – John James (R) leads 49.8% to 48.3%; with 85% reporting.
As it stands as of this morning, four of our industry’s greatest champions have been reelected to the United States Senate:
  • Chris Coons (D-DE)
  • Steve Daines (R-MT)
  • Lindsay Graham (R-SC)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
At this point, 189 House races have been called for Democrats and 183 have been called for Republicans. Democrats are projected to retain their majority in the House, but will hold a smaller margin. 
Government Affairs
Government Affairs Call Tomorrow at 2 p.m.
 
Join us for our monthly Government Affairs call tomorrow, 11/6, at 2 p.m. Dial-in Info: 202-602-1295, Access Code: 789-103-256#
VRLTA Releases 2021 Legislative Positions
 
VRLTA has worked to develop our key 2021 Legislative Positions, which will be reviewed during the monthly call on Friday.

To review the document in advance, please visit this link.
New PPP Forgiveness Fact Sheet for Borrowers
 
A PPP factsheet for borrowers that provides a high-level overview of what they have to do as part of the PPP Forgiveness process has been developed for SBA field offices and SBA Resource Partners.
 
The basic premise is that the borrowers in all cases should work with their PPP lenders on forgiveness.
 
 
The link is also on www.sba.gov/ppp
Main Street Lending Program
 
FYI re announcement on changes to the Main Street Lending Program, which include lowering the minimum loan size from $250,000 to $100,000. The press release and links to the updated term sheets and FAQs can be found here.  
More News You Can Use
Welcome NEW VRLTA Members!
 
Welcome to these new members...

Restaurants & Restaurant Groups: Café Callao, Lazy Dog Restaurants, LLC, Carmello’s LLC, Sweetgreen (8 locations)

Lodging: Black Horse Inn
 
Supplier: Social Ads with Stef
Check Out VRLTA's New JOB BOARD!

VRLTA has just kicked off a brand new JOB BOARD, focused specifically on our industry!

What does this mean for you?

Employers can list hospitality and tourism jobs, and VRLTA members get unlimited listings for free through the end of the year (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.
Governor Announces Revamped Rebuild VA Grant
 
VRLTA is pleased to announce that we have been working with the Governor’s office to implement changes to the structure of Governor Ralph Northam’s Rebuild VA economic recovery fund for businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
 
Thanks to our efforts, VRLTA succeeded in getting the Governor to make changes to the program which will make funds available to more businesses. Changes include:

  • Increasing the maximum amount grant recipients can obtain; employers can now receive up to $100,000 in grant funding 
  • Allocating an additional $30 million to the fund, so a total of $100 million is now available to businesses
  • Expanding access to more businesses; now, businesses that earned up to $10 million in 2019 may apply, and businesses with up to 250 employees may apply.
 
The deadline is December 31, 2020; however, if you're interested in applying, do so soon, as the dollars are expected to run out quickly.
 
You can find more on the program, including the application here.

We have gotten feedback from a few members about issues with the application...

  • If you are still seeing a limit of $1.5MM in revenue or 50 employees, please clear your computer's cache by using CTRL+F5. The application is updated on the website, but your computer is 'remembering' the old application. Clear the cache to get the latest version of the application.
  • If you have an issue because you previously applied and are now trying to apply with the same EIN (or if you have other related issues), please reach out to the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity at VSBFA.Online@sbsd.virginia.gov; they can help you with additional questions.
Want to SAVE on Employee Insurance Programs?

It's that time of year! Did you know that VRLTA's UnitedHealthcare partnership can save you money, time, and headaches?
VRLTA is part of a strategic alliance program with UnitedHealthcare to help provide access to more affordable health care solutions for the hospitality industry. Through UHC, members have access to exclusive discounts including: Up to a 5% discount on medical rates for fully insured groups with 51 or more full-time employees; an annual invoice credit of up to 5% on administrative fees for new self-funded medical products for groups with 100 or more full-time employees; and up to a 5% discount on specialty benefits (dental, vision, life, disability, accident and critical illness) for all-size fully insured groups.

In addition, UHC offers wellness programs and services designed to help improve employee health, productivity and retention. Contact your broker or learn more here.
There is still time to register for the 2020 VA1 Tourism Summit!

The 2020 VA1 Tourism Summit is still on, although in a modified format. We'll gather for a one-day event in Richmond, but it will be jam-packed with amazing speakers and content focused on travel in the time of COVID-19; "back to business" strategies; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and more relevant and timely topics.
Attend and learn more about...
  • creating great digital content
  • all the 'silver lining stories' that are happening in spite of COVID
  • RebuildVA
  • appealing to all kinds of visitors
  • what meetings will look like going forward
  • key opportunities you can capitalize on in the 'next normal'
  • DRIVE 2.0
  • the sports marketing outlook
  • how outdoors is thriving
  • business and tourism zones
  • trends and predictions
The event will follow all guidelines for safety and distancing, and adhere to current federal, state, and locally-mandated protocols. Visit this page to learn more about how we are keeping VA1 healthy and safe! We continue to monitor the situation and will adjust plans as necessary. Learn more at www.va1tourismsummit.org. We are working to finalize the schedule and speakers now.