12/10/20
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?
Governor's Update
 
Today, the Governor announced that beginning on Monday December 14, at 12:01 a.m., a modified stay-at-home order and new restrictions related to COVID-19 will take effect. These new regulations do not alter capacity limits at restaurants, hotels or campgrounds, and previous guidelines for businesses remain in effect.

Here are some highlights from the new restrictions:

  • A universal mask requirement for all indoor spaces or outdoors if within six feet of another individual;
  • Social gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people (down from 25);
  • Individuals are required to remain at home everyday between midnight and 5 a.m., but obtaining food and goods, traveling to/ from work, and seeking medical attention exempt from this requirement;
  • Restaurants must continue to end sales of alcohol after 10 p.m., and restaurants must close to in person dining by midnight;
  • Stepping up enforcement at businesses.

The governor said that the restrictions are temporary and will end January 31, 2021 or sooner if conditions related to COVID-19 spread improve.

You can view the full text of the modified Executive Order 72 here

Federal Update: NRA & AHLA Push for Relief THIS YEAR
 
VRLTA and our partners at the national level—the American Hotel and Lodging Association and National Restaurant Association—have initiated our push for the next round of federal relief. With the recent dialogue that has developed from the bipartisan Congressional “Problem Solvers Caucus,” the discussion has now opened for a new round of relief. As those conversations continue, NRA and AHLA have been sharing their priorities for the next round of relief with these representatives. It’s crucial that you weigh in with your Congressional representatives and share with them the urgency of additional relief.

You can read the recent letter from the NRA to Congress here.

You can view the results of the recent NRA survey of VA restaurants here.

You can contact your congressional representative here.
Rebuild Virginia Funds Exhausted
 
As of yesterday, all of the $100 million in the Rebuild Virginia economic recovery fund has been awarded. Grants were given to 2,500 Virginia businesses and nonprofits whose operations were impacted by COVID-19. Businesses with less than $2 million in annual revenue received 91% of the funding. About half went to women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses. Over 45% went to 997 organizations in low-income and economically disadvantaged communities. The average grant award was $35,636.

Almost 16,000 applications were received. The initial $70 million for the grants came from the CARES Act, and the Governor allocated an additional $30 million in CARES money in October. The Governor called for additional relief to support small businesses in Virginia. All the remaining applications that were unable to obtain grants before the funding ran out will remain in queue in the event additional funding is allocated.

City of Richmond Offers Richmond Recovers II Grants - Apply by 12/16
 
Applications are open for the Richmond Recovers II program, which is awarding $15,000 grants. Applications can be submitted through 12/16 and will be reviewed in the order they are received. Grants can be used toward employee wages and benefits, rent and utilities, PPE and cleaning supplies, e-commerce expenses. and working capital.

The city plans for at least $1.25 million of the total $2 million in grants will go to restaurant and retail businesses. Those that did not receive assistance from the Richmond Recovers Grant Program, the Richmond Small Business Disaster Loan Program, EIDL, or PPP funds will be prioritized.

More information on eligibility and guidelines can be found here.
Upcoming Events
Mark Your Calendar! All events are free unless noted

  • December 14, 4 p.m. - Shenandoah Chapter 4th Quarter Virtual Holiday Mixer. Register here.

  • December 15, 9 a.m. - VA1 Virtual Program: Virtual Content Workshop, sponsored by VistaGraphics. Cost is $49. Register here.

  • December 16, 4 p.m. - Charlottesville Chapter 4th Quarter Virtual Holiday Mixer. Register here.

  • January 6, 10 a.m. - Webinar Wednesday: Pre-Session Review of VRLTA Positions & Advocacy Insight. Register here.
LAST CHANCE to Register for Virtual Content Workshop - Open to ALL
 
Virtual Content Workshop, sponsored by VistaGraphics

December 15, 9 – 11 a.m. EST
Cost: $49

Please note: if you registered to attend the workshop in person at VA1, your payment will be refunded; you must register again using the link below!

Join us for the first ever virtual Content Workshop on December 15 at 9 a.m. The workshop will provide attendees with exclusive insights into content and digital marketing from the team at VTC as well as experts from VistaGraphics and Workshop Digital.

As we see our world becoming more digitized, from our work to how we connect with friends and family, it is becoming increasingly important for marketers to be nimble, knowledgeable and confident with new cutting-edge digital tools. For the first time ever, this content will be delivered virtually, helping to provide attendees with the tools needed to be successful in our “new normal.”
 
Attendees will hear from VTC’s experts about social media, photography, video, design, advertising, branding, content creation, creative writing, search, website development and email marketing – all critical components to successful destination marketing. The goal of this session is to equip attendees with the tools needed to successfully market their destination or business, while also providing practical advice and tips that they can apply right away.

Register by midnight Sunday. You'll receive the Zoom information on Monday, 12/14.
Government Affairs
Got PPP? Make Sure You Don't Get a Tax Bill, Too
 
Did you know that restaurant operators who had Protection Program (PPP) loans forgiven may lose some key tax deductions, creating a surprise tax liability?  And that the majority of restaurants might not be eligible for a new round of PPP funding? These two critical issues are why you need to take action now to protect restaurants from a surprise tax liability. Congress needs to hear from restaurants now. Negotiations are ongoing for this final relief package and time is of the essence!
Tips on PPP Loan Forgiveness
 
Watch this video from Aaron Frazier, Director of Healthcare and Tax Policy at the National Restaurant Association to get important information related to PPP Loan Forgiveness.
2021 VRLTA Legislative Priorities
 
VRLTA recently finalized our 2021 legislative priorities. We encourage you to check out these priorities and the focus of our public policy efforts in next year’s session. View the 2021 VRLTA legislative priorities here.
Sign up for our Pre-Session Webinar on January 6
 
VRLTA is continuing our Wednesday Webinar series on January 6. Join us at 10 a.m. and learn more about our legislative positions prior to the regular session of the Virginia General Assembly that will convene January 13. VRLTA will also cover topics including the importance of being involved in our advocacy, and discuss what issues we expect will garner significant attention during the legislative session. Register here.
More News You Can Use
Queen of Virginia Skill Hosting Virginia Wins Together Events

VRLTA partner Queen of Virginia Skill is hosting two upcoming events which will provide boxed meals to those in need. For both dates, a drive-thru/drive up will be in place and people can also walk up to get a free meal. There will be no onsite room for eating.

  • Tuesday, December 15, 1pm-3pm, with The Coffee Pot - 2902 Brambleton Ave Roanoke, VA 24015. QVS and the Coffee Pot have committed to providing up to 700 Boxed Meals to those in need (HoHoHo Ham, Sweet Potato Casserole and Green Beans)
  • Thursday, December 17, 1 - 3 p.m., with Glory Days Grill at 9459 Lorton Market St. Lorton, VA 22079. Up to 700 Boxed meals will include Turkey Dinner w Turkey Gravy, Mom's Mac & Cheese, Potato, Green Beans.

NRA's New Ad Campaign

The NRA recently kicked off a new holiday ad campaign - view the spot, Let Restaurants Do the Cooking, here.
Congratulation to the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce!
The Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 100 years in 2020 - Congratulations! Amazingly, there are fourteen enterprises that started in the 1920s that are still thriving in the area, including Hopewell Quick Lunch, which has been in business almost 100 years!
VRLTA Job Board Matches Employers and Workers

VRLTA's new job board is focused specifically on our industry!

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.
Diageo Will Donate $1 per Tweet or Instagram Post to the VRLTA Relief Fund!

You Post. Diageo Donates. Feel The Love. ❤ Post on Twitter or Instagram using #BackToMyBarVA & Diageo will donate $1 to Virginia service industry professionals.

Between 12:01 a.m. ET on 9/1/2020 and 11:59:59 p.m. (ET) on 12/31/2020, for each social media post that uses the hashtag #BackToMyBarVA, Diageo will donate $1 to the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. Maximum donation of $5,000. Must be 21 or older.

Highland Brewing is Supporting the Virginia Restaurant and Hospitality Relief Fund

We are pleased to announce that Highland Brewing is contributing a portion of sales of their Gaelic Ale to the VRLTA Restaurant and Hospitality Relief Fund!

Highland distributes in areas of the state such as Roanoke, Bristol, Martinsville, Salem, and Radford. Look for their products on the shelves and in restaurants starting in September and through the end of the year!

The Relief Fund has already distributed thousands of dollars to organizations around the state. To learn more about the recipient organizations, visit this page.

Thank you, Highland Brewing, for your support of restaurant and hospitality employees in Virginia!