12/3/20
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?
COVID Relief Is Back on the Table
 
VRLTA is monitoring renewed activity in Washington related to COVID Relief. At this time, it is unclear whether Congress will be able to accomplish anything before the end of the year, but VRLTA remains hopeful that help will be given sooner rather than later.

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators (including Virginia's Mark Warner and Abigail Spanberger (D-07)) called for a deal for $908B in additional relief funds (including another round - $288B - of PPP funding). Mitch McConnell released his own competing bill on Tuesday. Democratic Senate leadership has also sent a private proposal to the White House and McConnell.

Read more about the proposals here:


As progress is made, VRLTA will keep you updated. In the meantime, read the NRA's statement on the bipartisan proposal, watch for information next week on a push from the NRA, and see below for AHLA's latest campaign to connect with your legislators.
What is the NRA's Position?

Anything that gets McConnell and Pelosi out of their partisan corners is a good thing… we need Congress talking, and if restaurants is part of the discussion, all the better. Below is the press statement the NRA gave as reaction to reporters.
 
“Once again, restaurants are dangerously close to being locked out of relief from Washington. Today’s compromise plan offers an excellent starting point. The National Restaurant Association appreciates the effort of this bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators, and we look forward to working toward a solution that prevents thousands of restaurants from closing this month.
 
“The $908 billion stimulus proposal includes some much-needed short-term stopgaps that will help restaurants continue to serve their communities during the holiday season. The bill provides several of the tools that we proposed in our Blueprint for Restaurant Revival, including a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and temporary liability protections for operators.
 
“The restaurant industry has been the hardest hit by the pandemic and recent limitations in dozens of states are pushing operators beyond their limits to survive. We hope that after the holiday, Congress will be ready to discuss industry-specific solutions – including the Senate version of the RESTAURANTS Act – that will help the nation’s second largest private-sector employer contribute to its economic revival in 2021.”
Hotels: Demand Action from Congress
 
From AHLA:

Congress and the Administration have failed to address the continuing economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act was passed in March of this year and the funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were largely spent by June. For months, we have been advocating for another round of relief and yet our elected officials have failed to pass any meaningful legislation to help devastated industries such as ours.

Congress returns this week to finish the lame duck session and this is our final chance to save hotel jobs this year. A group of bipartisan Senators in partnership with the House Problem Solvers Caucus released a broad COVID-19 compromise package that includes numerous hotel industry priorities such as a second draw of Paycheck Protection Program funds and limited liability protections. The efforts of this bipartisan compromise group have led Senate and House leadership to begin their own negotiations as signs for COVID-19 relief brighten.

In light of this recent development, we need your help to ensure Congress acts. We have created a letter for you to send to your elected officials to let them know that continued inaction is not acceptable. Write your elected officials now! 

Welcome New VRLTA Members!

Join VRLTA in welcoming these new members...

  • Lodging: Omni Richmond

  • Restaurant:
  • Hatch Companies, Richmond
  • RVA Hospitality Group, Richmond
  • Max's on Broad
  • Tarrant's Cafe
  • Tarrant's West
  • Bar Solita
Upcoming Events
Mark Your Calendar! All events are free unless noted

  • TOMORROW! December 4, 11 a.m. - VA1 Virtual Program: Preparing for the Recovery, Presented by Adam Sacks from Tourism Economics. Register here.



  • December 8, 4 p.m. - Richmond Chapter 4th Quarter Virtual Holiday Mixer. Register here.

  • December 10, 3 p.m. - Arlington-Alexandria Chapter 4th Quarter Virtual Holiday Trivia Mixer. Register here.

  • 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.
VA1 Virtual Programming Offered
Open to ALL!
 
We are working to transition some of the planned VA1 sessions to a virtual format and hope you'll join us for these events. 

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.

You'll receive the Zoom information a few days before the workshop.
VTC Research Special Session: Preparing for the Recovery, Presented by Adam Sacks - Tourism Economics
 
THIS FRIDAY! December 4, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
FREE!

Historic travel industry losses continue to mount. However, signs of recovery point to opportunity for destinations over the next 18 months. Adam Sacks will share Tourism Economics' latest views on the economy, the current profile of travel, and expectations for how and when travel will fully recover.
 
This meeting requires advance registration. Please click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
 
Questions? Please contact Jane Lammay (jlammay@virginia.org)
Storytelling and the Black Travel Experience Webinar, presented by Share More Stories

December 7, 3 – 5 p.m.
FREE!

We invite you to join us for a two-hour informational session focused on more deeply understanding the experiences of Black travelers in Virginia - an often under-
prioritized but powerful consumer segment. For more information, please contact Jane Lammay (jlammay@virginia.org).
Government Affairs
VRLTA Sends Feedback to Governor on Group Limits
 
Earlier this week, VRLTA sent a letter to Governor Northam relaying concerns about the gathering limits imposed as part of Executive Order 67. This EO has restricted public and private gatherings from 250 to 25 individuals and is having an impact on hotel and resort bookings and revenues across the Commonwealth. Read the VRLTA letter here.
Save the Date for Our Virtual Day on the Hill
 
The General Assembly's January session will be virtual, and VRLTA is working to find ways that we can continue our Day on the Hill tradition. We have a tentative plan for a virtual event on January 21, 2021. Plan to join us!
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
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!
Former Virginia Restaurant Association Chair Gus Anthony Passes Away

We recently learned that a chair of the Virginia Restaurant Association (which predated VRLTA) has passed away. See Constantine Anton (Gus) Anthony's obituary here.