DAILY VRLTA UPDATE 4/1/20
LEAD NEWS: Paycheck Protection Program Details

As discussed in our last call (3/31), we are providing additional information on federal actions as of yesterday.

  • Paycheck Protection Program Application Portal is now live. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can begin applying for these loans beginning on April 3, 2020. 
  • For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
  • The application for borrowers can be found HERE starting April 3.
  • PPP FAQs for Small Business, prepared by the US Senate Committee on Small Business (here)
  • Yesterday, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released its streamlined application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). With this new online portal, participants can now quickly identify whether they are eligible for disaster loan support.
  • AHLA joined the U.S. Travel Association, International Franchise Association, and AAHOA to request that the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve establish programs that provide expedited and streamlined relief for eligible travel-dependent businesses and organizations that are not eligible to receive other assistance under the CARES Act. Included among that request are “Nonprofits, including 501(c)(6) and 501(c)(4) with less than 500 employees, which are ineligible for business interruption loans under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).”
  • COVID-19 Business and Employee Continuity and Recovery Fund – The attached letter has been issued to the Administration and Congress urging the consideration in forthcoming relief legislation of a Recovery Fund to help businesses retain and rehire employees, maintain worker benefits, and meet operating expense obligations. Coverage of the request in Bloomberg is here
Governor's Executive Order 55 Update
 
Following up from our alert the other day that addressed the Governor’s newest Executive Order, EO 55, we have received confirmation from the Governor’s office hotel operations are not impacted by this most recent order or the previous one EO 53.
Federal Update
 
The CARES Act, while well-intentioned to assist the restaurant industry, has a number of drafting issues that if misinterpreted by the Trump Administration will limit our ability to access the recovery funding the hospitality and tourism industry so desperately needs. While the Small Business Administration is on point for the small-business loan portfolio, the Treasury Department is very engaged. The National Restaurant Association yesterday sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Carranza that provides our guidance on how they should interpret specific sections of the legislation. We will remain engaged with them throughout the process. You can read the letter from the NRA here and a FAQ sheet here .
Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Hotel Guidelines

The Virginia Department of Health has released COVID-19 related guidance for hotels. You can view those guidelines here .
Training Opportunities

Hospitality

As part of AHLA’s  Hospitality for Hope Initiative,  the AHLA Foundation today announced free training and educational courses to help hotel employees continue their education and stay connected to their careers. These resources are available to employees who have lost their jobs, had their hours reduced, or simply wish to continue learning while in their current role.

Employee Resources Include:
  • Hospitality Management Training
  • Professional Development Scholarships
  • Continuing Education Scholarships
  • Short-Term Employment Resources
 
To learn more about each,visit  https://www.ahlafoundation.org/relief .

Restaurant

As the industry faces ongoing challenges with COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association remains dedicated to helping everyone stay safe. Food safety training and education are more critical now than ever before. With this in mind, ServSafe will be releasing two new training videos, free to our constituents, to reinforce safe food handling during the coronavirus outbreak. These are: 

Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund - Make a Donation Today!
 
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, through its 501c3 foundation (Virginia Restaurant Lodging & Travel Association Educational Foundation/VRLTAEF) has formed a new industry relief fund to aid workers displaced by the recent restaurant and hospitality industry shutdowns and also aid affected businesses. 
 
The Virginia Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund will be providing direct cash support to workers that have been laid off due to the recent COVID19-related business downturn in Virginia and affected businesses. The VRLTAEF will be funding the new trust with donations from individual donors and grants from local private foundations and corporate partners. 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. Donations may be disbursed to organizations around the state which can connect the support to individuals, or, in some cases, made directly to affected individuals/businesses.
 
VRLTA is asking all of the industry’s suppliers, distributors, allied vendor partners, and other corporations to support the Fund. The restaurant and hospitality industries in Virginia are not only large employers, but also greatly contribute to the Commonwealth's economy.
 
All donations to the Fund are fully tax-deductible, subject to applicable laws and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations. If you would like to direct your donation to a particular area, please reach out to jim@vrlta.org for assistance.

Donations can be made through VRLTA's websit e at  https://www.vrlta.org/donations/donate.asp?id=19606 .
Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Takeout Week Continues!
 
VRLTA and Virginia Tourism Corporation have teamed up to create and promote Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Takeout Week, which will be all this week. We've seen a lot of love this week - look for the hashtag #VirginiaEatsLocal!
Continue to visit https://www.virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com for more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. We are working to add additional resources, links, and news articles as they become available.