5/11/20 Update
LEAD NEWS: VRLTA Sends Letter to Governor Northam

In consultation with our Government Affairs Committee, VRLTA drafted and sent a letter to the Governor outlining our concerns with the continued restrictions on restaurants reopening in Phase One of the process and the inconsistencies between various business types. In addition, we outline how it’s critical to reopen Virginia’s beaches as our neighbors are doing in Maryland and North Carolina. Finally, we urge him to provide immediate relief funding to hospitality and tourism businesses.

We have also distributed this letter to the media. See the letter here.
Governor's Update

Building on what we mentioned on Friday, the Governor has released updated guidelines for the first phase of reopening Virginia businesses. Unfortunately, based on today’s press conference it appears that Northern Virginia jurisdictions (Loudoun County, Prince William County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and the City of Alexandria) will be able to reopen on a different timeline. This appears to have been prompted by a letter they recently sent to him which you can view here .

Regarding the guidelines for reopening Virginia businesses in Phase One, you can view them here .

In addition, the Governor has released Executive Order 61 which will supercede Executive Order 53 and 55. You can view EO61 here
Federal Update

At the Federal level, the National Restaurant Association and American Hotel and Lodging Association have sent a letter that VRLTA signed onto that calls for liability protections be enacted that provides safe harbor for businesses that implement federal public health guidelines related to the transmission of COVID-19. You can view a copy of the letter here .

Also, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says he supports changes to the PPP to make it more useful to small businesses, particularly restaurants. The National Restaurant Association has been instrumental in sharing the viewpoint of restaurateurs with the administration and legislators. Read more here.
PPE Resources

VRLTA has been receiving many inbound emails with offers of PPE, and we've tried to sort through to find the best options for our members and the rest of the industry to source these items prior to reopening. Here are the best resources we found:

Help VTC Understand the Impacts of Coronavirus on your Organization
Help VTC understand the impact on your area, attraction, or organization by filling out this survey: https://sirresearch.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8IbZLmd2ji1snwp
Upcoming Webinars of Interest

  • The Virginia Small Business Development Center is offering a free webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12, at 11:00 a.m. Join industry professionals who will provide specific information to help you understand the new requirements and make savvy financial decisions.This session will focus on Phase 1 regulations, business decisions, and operations for the food industry. Register here.
  • AHLA is offering a members only webinar tomorrow, May 12, at 3:00 - Resuming Operations in Lodging. Register here.
  • ChamberRVA is hosting another Virtual Small Business Workshop, designed to offer engaging conversation with small business owners and experts on the impact of COVID-19 on Thursday, May 14 10:00 - 11:15 am. Register here.
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 $30,000 has been raised to date!

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. 

Continue to visit https://www.virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com for updated information!