7/8/20 Update
As Virginia continues to move forward, VRLTA is pivoting back to our regular newsletter, The Slice - so, welcome back! We'll be sending you all the news you can use, usually each Wednesday. 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 .
Governor's Update

On July 1, Virginia officially entered Phase Three of the reopening process. The Governor signed Executive Order 67, which outlined this next phase of reopening.

You can view Executive Order 67 here .

You can view the Phase Three Guidelines (with no bar operations) here
Federal Update

A business coalition consisting of AHLA, USTA, AAHOA, and others last week sent a letter along to congress requesting additional changes to the Paycheck Protection Program. You can view a copy of that letter here .

Recently, Congress passed an extension of the PPP program. This past weekend, President Trump signed the bill extending the PPP program into law . Under this new law, the the deadline to obtain a PPP loan has been designated as August 8. 
AHLA Announces Online Safe Stay Course for Hotel Staff

To further expand the hotel industry's Safe Stay initiative, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced  COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels , an online course developed in partnership with the  American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute  (AHLEI) and created to help hotels train their staffs on the enhanced safety and cleanliness guidelines.
The new training course was created in consultation with the  AHLA’s Safe Stay Advisory Council  and represents a united industry approach around the Safe Stay guidelines endorsed by all major U.S. hotel brands, hospitality associations in 50 states and Canada, and thousands of hotel properties across the country committed to ensuring the health and safety of guests and employees while continuing to provide outstanding service.
 
The 15-minute course is available in English or Spanish. Employees who successfully complete the course and brief assessment receive a certificate. COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels can be hosted on an organization’s LMS or purchased individually. In addition to the training component, AHLA’s Safe Stay initiative has developed a ‘checklist’ for members to utilize as they work to implement the Safe Stay Guidelines, as well as Safe Stay signage and collateral for use on property to inform both employees and guests of the industry commitment to safety and cleanliness. These resources are available on the  AHLA’s Safe Stay website .  
NRA Survey - Participate and Help Drive Policy!
 
As you know, restaurants across the country remain crippled, with challenges that are not going away anytime soon for owners, operators, and employees. For over sixteen weeks, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, & Travel Association and our national partners at the National Restaurant Association have led the charge at the federal, state, and local level in calling for a comprehensive response from our government.

Republicans and Democrats are considering whether to craft a new coronavirus stimulus bill in late July, and they have asked the National Restaurant Association for guidance on how best to assist the industry.

In April, the NRA wrote congressional leaders to unveil a “Blueprint for Recovery.” But as the challenge to our industry evolves, so should the recovery plan. Working with our membership and the National Restaurant Association, we have a list of potential policy initiatives, but we need your input in identifying which ones to prioritize. We will unveil our updated Blueprint later this month.

We have prepared a survey that outlines our ideas, and allows you to rank the ones that would be most impactful for your restaurant or the industry as a whole. Together, we will continue to advance a policy agenda that reflects the unique needs of this vital industry. You can take the survey here .
Ordinary Awards Nominations NOW OPEN!

The Ordinary Awards may look different this year - we'll be hosting a luncheon instead of a dinner and reception, and we'll be taking all of the necessary precautions - but we don't want to miss out on recognizing the amazing people and businesses that make up the hospitality and tourism industries!

The event will take place Tuesday, September 29, again at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa | Short Pump. Tickets will be on sale soon. If you're interested in being a sponsor, reach out to your Membership Director, Kristen Karrfalt or Brittany Blythe .

In the meantime, please take the time to NOMINATE an outstanding person or organization. This year, we have 20 categories, including - NEW! - Hospitality Hero categories for individuals and organizations.
Alewerks in Williamsburg Supporting VRLTA Relief Fund
 
Alewerks Brewing Company has released a new, limited-edition brew called Absolute Uncertainty, and proceeds will benefit VRLTA's Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund. Learn more about it here !

One place teaming up with Alewerks to sell the beer is the Lost Dog Cafe McLean - eat there and drink an Absolute Uncertainty, and you'll be helping out the Lost Dog Rescue Foundation AND VRLTA's Relief Fund!

Thank you, Alewerks, for supporting VRLTA's work in supporting restaurant and hospitality employees and businesses.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Data Released

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury  released  detailed loan-level data related to the 4.9 million loans provided under the PPP which was passed by Congress in the CARES Act in March of this year. The data is available  here
 
According to the data, nearly 90,000 businesses participated in the PPP loan program and only 8.1% of funds available went to hotels, restaurants and food service industry. AHLA continues to press Congress to reallocate the remaining PPP funds into a new lending facility for the most severely impacted industries, including hospitality. 

You can still apply for a PPP loan until August 8!
Upcoming Webinar: State & Local Tax Response to COVID-19

Presented by Grant McCarthy Group, Wednesday, July 15, 1pm EST
 
Join us for this webinar presented by Mitch Bryk and the team at Grant McCarthy Group, as they discuss State & Local Tax Response to COVID-19. Please feel free to share this webinar with your members as they may be interested in topics that include:
  • Initial State Response to Pandemic
  • Effect on State Tax Audits
  • State Impact on Federal Legislation - CARES Act
  • Anticipated State Legislative Responses
 
Join Zoom Meeting
 
Meeting ID: 856 5533 7496
Password: 948702
There is Still Time to Support the VRLTA Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund

VRLTA's industry relief fund is aiding workers displaced by the recent restaurant and hospitality industry shutdowns and also helping affected businesses. Over $45,000 has been raised to date!

The fund is still open, and the need is still there. Please consider a donation today.

Donations can be made through VRLTA's website at    https://www.vrlta.org/donations/donate.asp?id=19606   .
Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Merchandise Supports the VRLTA Relief Fund - Make a purchase to show your support today!

VRLTA has also partnered with the Virginia Tourism Corporation to create a Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers t-shirt, and other merchandise, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Fund.