DAILY VRLTA UPDATE 4/17/20
LEAD NEWS: Letter to the Virginia General Assembly In Support of the Governor’s Amendments

The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association sent a letter today to members of the Virginia General Assembly requesting their support of many of the Governor’s proposed amendments to the following:

  • The budget to override state law to waive penalties and interest to delay the sales tax and income tax payments;
  • HB395/ SB7 (minimum wage increases);
  • HB1414/ SB890 (Northern Virginia lodging tax);
  • HB785/ SB588 (tax equalization between localities);
  • HB1726, SB1038 (Hampton Roads lodging tax);
  • HB1505 (Small Business Jobs Fund for Small Business Grants); and
  • HB881/ SB971 (Games of Skill). 
You Can Help! Take Action in Support of the Governor’s Amendments

VRLTA has been working to reduce the negative impact of many of the proposed bills from the 2020 legislative session and made this request to Governor Northam. Hospitality and tourism businesses have been one of the most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Thanks to our efforts, Governor Northam did act to amend the budget to override state law to waive penalties and interest to delay the sales tax and income tax payments, HB395/ SB7 (minimum wage increases), HB1414/ SB890 (Northern Virginia lodging tax), HB785/ SB588 (tax equalization between localities), HB1726/ SB1038 (Hampton Roads lodging tax), HB1505 (Small Business Jobs Fund for Small Business Grants), as well as HB881/ SB971 (Games of Skill).

While we appreciate the delays that the Governor proposed to provide relief for hospitality and tourism related businesses, we would have preferred it to go further, considering the extreme challenges the industry and our hundreds of thousands of employees face.

VRLTA believes that a longer extension of the implementation of the minimum wage increase, tax equalization between localities, and Northern Virginia- and Hampton Roads-related regional lodging taxes would have provided greater relief for the hospitality and tourism industry. 

Unfortunately, many legislators in the Virginia General Assembly are not even inclined to support the modest amendments by Governor Northam . So, we need to press hard for them to support his amendments.

President Trump Releases Guidelines for Reopening Businesses

Yesterday, President Donald Trump released guidelines to assist states and their Governors is setting up a gradual reopening of society and businesses. You can view his proposed reopening guidance here. 
Good News!

Take some time this weekend to take a break from work and school to relax. Good things continue to happen as we pull together, work for the common good, and support one another. Here's a little bit of good news to start the weekend...

Support the VRLTA Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund

VRLTA's industry relief fund will aid workers displaced by the recent restaurant and hospitality industry shutdowns and also help 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. 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.
 
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 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. 

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.