8/13/20
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.
Honoring Dwight Fuller

VRLTA is saddened by the news that Dwight Fuller, a veteran restaurateur and Managing Partner at Great American Restaurants, unexpectedly passed away last week. Dwight was very active in supporting VRLTA’s advocacy issues and we greatly appreciated his involvement. Many of you have asked for more information on how to honor Dwight; Great American Restaurants has shared that in lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (www.tmcf.org), which provides scholarships to African American students and supports historically black colleges and universities, or No Kid Hungry (www.nokidhungry.org) which is working to end child hunger in the US.
Government Affairs
Hotel Action Alert - Support the HOPE Act - Add your name by 6 p.m. TODAY
 
Recently, Representatives Van Taylor (R-TX), Al Lawson (D-FL), and Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced bipartisan legislation, The Helping Open Properties Endeavor (HOPE) Act (H.R. 7809). This legislation would provide borrowers of commercial mortgages with financial assistance through the HOPE Preferred Equity lending facility. The bill would help prevent commercial real estate foreclosures and protect jobs in the hospitality industry.
 
The hotel industry supports The HOPE Act to give struggling small business hotels an opportunity to keep their doors open and avoid foreclosure. Currently, The HOPE Act continues to gain cosponsors, but we need your help to gain more support. Please join us in urging Members of Congress to cosponsor and quickly pass this legislation to keep hotels open for business and position America’s tourism industry to survive and recovery when the public health crisis subsides.
 
 
Thank you for your continued engagement.
Compliance and Training Materials Now Available from the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry
 
As we have previously shared, VDOLI recently adopted new emergency temporary standards for infectious disease prevention.

See the final text here. A variety of education and training materials can be found here; many are also available in Spanish and other languages.

Recently, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar with Courtney Malveaux. Courtney serves on the Safety and Health Codes Board that adopted the regulations. He shared his insight and thoughts regarding the new regulations. You can view the webinar here.
Rebuild VA Grant Applications Now Open

Applications for the Rebuild VA program, which will award $70 million to small businesses and nonprofit organizations which have experienced disruptions due to COVID-19, are now open. Up to $10,000 will be awarded to each recipient.

The program is administered by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity. Businesses and nonprofits must be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees. Eligible businesses and nonprofits include food and beverage establishments, non-essential retail, exercise and fitness, entertainment and public amusement, personal care and personal grooming services, and private campground and overnight summer camps. Businesses must also certify that they have not received federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds or other funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Rebuild VA funding may be utilized for the following eligible expenses:
  • Payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave;
  • Employee salaries;
  • Mortgage payments, rent, and utilities;
  • Principal and interest payments for any business loans from national or state-chartered banking, savings and loan institutions, or credit unions, that were incurred before or during the emergency;
  • Eligible personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting materials, or other working capital needed to address COVID-19 response.

See the press release here.

For FAQs, eligibility requirements, the application, and additional resources, click here.
Upcoming Events
Do You Know Someone Extraordinary?

Nominate them for a VRLTA Ordinary Award - Nominations Close August 25
The Ordinary Awards may look different this year (currently, the plan is to host an in-person luncheon instead of a dinner and reception, and we'll be taking all of the necessary safety precautions), but we don't want to miss out on recognizing the amazing people and businesses that make up the hospitality and tourism industries.

Please take a few minutes to NOMINATE an outstanding person or organization. This year, we have 20 categories, including - NEW! - Hospitality Hero categories for individuals and organizations.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29, again at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa in 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.
VA1 Tourism Summit - November 16 in Richmond!

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.

The event will follow all guidelines for safety and distancing, and adhere to current federal, state, and locally-mandated protocols. We continue to monitor the situation and will adjust plans as necessary. Learn more at www.va1tourismsummit.org. Registration NOW OPEN!
Education & Training
VRLTA Webinar Offers Advice on Alcohol To-Go Sales

Earlier this week, VRLTA hosted a webinar on running a successful alcohol to-go program. Our fantastic panel included experts in ABC regulations, marketing, and wine, beer, and spirits, as well as restaurateurs who have been successful with their programs. This members-only program is just one more way that VRLTA is supporting our members. Did you miss it? Reach out to your Membership Director, Kristen Karrfalt or Brittany Blythe, to get an audio file of the webinar.
ServSafe: Classes Are Up and Running

VRLTA's preferred ServSafe training partners are offering ServSafe training around the state - we currently are listing almost 30 classes in 11 different localities, so there is bound to be a class near you. We've added a new preferred training partner in Northern Virginia, ORS Interactive; they are offering some classes in Spanish. ORS and RVA Food Safety are also offering test proctoring. Click here to learn more and see the entire upcoming schedule. Partners' classes are filling quickly, so register today!
AHLA Safe Stay Course for Hotel Staff

To further expand the hotel industry's Safe Stay initiative, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is offering 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.
More News You Can Use
LetsGetChecked Home COVID-19 Testing Now Available

LetsGetChecked offers a comprehensive COVID-19 testing solution, integrating at-home sample collection, lab testing, delivery of results, and patient support.

Hospitality businesses can get a 20% discount with bulk orders. To learn more, visit https://www.letsgetchecked.com/us/en/corporate-coronavirus-testing/