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?
Federal Update: Is a Deal Close?
Progress is being made on a COVID relief deal. It could come soon, but lawmakers not as optimistic as they were yesterday.

Here are some of the latest news stories:

Hospitality Helping Hands: VRLTA Hosting Richmond-Area Holiday Drive-Thru Food Giveaway on 12/22
VRLTA is partnering up with Feed More, the City of Richmond, Performance Food Group, Sysco, Richmond Region Tourism, and the Hilton Richmond Downtown to offer a drive-thru food giveaway next Tuesday, 12/22, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. The location is the Hilton Richmond Downtown (501 E. Broad Street). Any Richmond-area hospitality or tourism worker is welcome; food packages will be distributed to the first 250 through the line.

If you know of employees in the greater Richmond area who could use a helping hand, please refer them to the event. Thank you to all who are making this possible!
City of Richmond Offers Richmond Recovers II Grants - Deadline Extended to 12/18
Applications are open for the Richmond Recovers II program, which is awarding $15,000 grants. Applications can be submitted through 12/18 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

  • January 6, 10 a.m. - Webinar Wednesday: Pre-Session Review of VRLTA Positions & Advocacy Insight. Register here.
  • February 10, 10 a.m. - Webinar Wednesday: How to Gain Organic Traction on Your Instagram Page. Register here.
Government Affairs
Virginia Department of Health Releases 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 this week. Find that here.
Restaurants: Complete this Quick Survey

As we continue to refute claims that dining in restaurants and COVID transmission are linked, we are once again asking you to help by completing a quick survey.
The data gained through the survey below will be used to make scientific-based decisions on restrictions instead of reflexive actions that punish restaurants without evidence. All responses will be kept confidential, and it is critical that we have high participation in order to validate the results. The results of this survey could help us keep restaurants open. 
Complete the survey here: https://cutt.ly/diningsurvey
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
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!
NRA's New Ad Campaign

The NRA recently kicked off a new holiday ad campaign - view the spot, Let Restaurants Do the Cooking, here.
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.
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! Time is Running Out!

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!