LEAD NEWS: Federal Update

The U.S. Department of the Treasury released an updated FAQ which provides some additional insights and guidance into the SBA PPP program. In particular, question #10 discusses professional employer organizations (PEOs) but does not yet answer the critical question(s) which the lodging industry has been asking of Treasury/SBA and the Administration about hotel industry business model and who should be the borrower.

In addition, the National Restaurant Association has released a new guidance document to assist employers with compliance dealing with the federal COVID-19 paid leave law. You can view that resource here.
Guidance for Restaurants Regarding Employee Health

The National Restaurant Association has released guidance to help aid employers during the COVID-19 crisis with regards to temperature checks and mask use in the workplace. You can view that resource here.
Governor's Press Conference Announcement - ABC Update

During today’s press conference, the Governor announced that he has directed the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority to allow restaurants to sell mixed beverages to-go with carryout, and delivery orders so long as they currently hold mixed beverage licenses or obtains ones between today and June 10 th . Here are some details for restaurants:

  • Mixed beverage restaurants are limited to four cocktails for each delivery or take out sale. Each order or delivery of takeout of cocktails must include one meal for every two cocktails purchased.
  • Cocktails must be packaged in a glass, paper, or plastic container (or similar disposable container), or in a single original metal can with a secure lid or cap designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or caps (lids with sipping holes or openings for straws are precluded).
  • All recipients of delivery orders must be at least 21 years of age.

In addition, the Governor stated that the Virginia ABC will be deferring annual licenses and permit fees through June.
Update Your TripAdvisor Listing

TripAdvisor is supporting the restaurant industry, including making it easy (and free) for operators to update their business listing on TripAdvisor to sell gift cards or share if they offer take-out or delivery services.
This is one part of a global effort to provide financial relief, foundation support and new features on the platform to help this industry through this period.
To support owners and restaurant operators during this time, TripAdvisor has also created some additional features, including a new tool to enable restaurant owners to mark their business as “temporarily closed” on TripAdvisor during these times of mandatory closures:  https://www.tripadvisor.com/ForRestaurants/r12205 .
To make other adjustments to the services provided by a dining establishment and to be updated on helpful resources for restaurants, here you can find a list of the ones in place:  https://www.tripadvisor.com/ForRestaurants/covid19
Other initiatives already live are:
  • Ads campaigns on TripAdvisor:
  • Ads will run for free during the COVID-19 crisis in all the countries where restaurants are mandatory closed
  • TripAdvisor Premium
  • To all owners with a monthly subscription: TripAdvisor will offer free Premium service during the crisis
  • To all owners with an annual subscription: TripAdvisor will offer three free months to extend the package: the service will therefore last 15 months instead of 12 at no additional costs
  • Delivery options and gift card
  • We are also making it easier for customers to continue supporting restaurant owners by highlighting delivery and take-out options:https://www.tripadvisor.com/ForRestaurants/r12479 and gift card options: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ForRestaurants/r12705
Good News!

In spite of the current challenges, lots of great things are happening as people pull together across Virginia and the country. Here's a round up of some positive news for you...

Got some good news? We'd love to share it! Send information to marketing@vrlta.org and we may feature you on our website or in the Daily Update.
Are you in a position to help? Donate today to VRLTA's Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund
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  .
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.