5/26/20 Update
LEAD NEWS: Governor's Update

Today during his press conference, Governor Northam announced that everyone in the Commonwealth will need to wear a face covering inside any public building starting this Friday, May 29. There are some exceptions to the directive, including:

  • While eating or drinking at a restaurant,
  • While exercising,
  • For those with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering, and
  • For children under 10.

The Governor stressed that this directive will not be enforced by law enforcement, but appealed to all Virginians to follow the advice.

The Governor gave no indication of when the Commonwealth may move into Phase 2. The earliest possible date would have been later this week; however, Governor Northam has not signaled that there will be any movement beyond Phase 1 this week. See below for an update on NoVa moving to Phase 1.
Federal Update

Both AHLA and the NRA have continued to work with lawmakers at the federal level to try to get legislation introduced that would modify PPP to allow for more flexibility for businesses who have received the funds.

Lawmakers Representatives Dean Phillips (D-MN-3) and Chip Roy (R-TX-21) have introduced the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act. This bipartisan legislation would enhance the PPP with several hospitality industry priorities, including:

  • Allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the eight-week period
  • Striking the restrictive 75%/25% rule on loan proceeds
  • Expanding the loan term past two years
  • Ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans
  • Extending the June 30 rehiring deadline

A vote on this legislation in the House is expected this week (probably Thursday).

Your help is needed! Tell legislators that your support the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act!

AHLA has an action alert you can take here: https://ahla.quorum.us/campaign/26471/

We also expect an action alert from the NRA, and will forward that on as soon as possible.
Local Update - Northern Virginia

Localities in Northern Virginia made a request yesterday to the Governor that Northern Virginia be able to enter Phase 1 of reopening this week - on May 28 at midnight. The letter was signed by the mayors and chairs of the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; the Cities of Alexandria and Fairfax; and the Towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Middleburg, and Vienna.

VRLTA worked closely with the Northern Virginia Chambers of Commerce to facilitate this request. See the letter here.

In addition, as noted last week, VRLTA and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce sent a joint letter to Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay requesting that the Northern Virginia localities request from Governor Northam the ability to enter Phase Two with the rest of the Commonwealth. This request was officially made in the letter yesterday.

Local Update - Last Chance for RVA-area Businesses to Get a FREE PPE Kit

ForwardRVA is a coalition of the Richmond Region's business, community, and governmental leaders who are working together to create an innovative reopening and planning framework. VRLTA is a ForwardRVA partner. The website, www.forwardrva.com , will offer up-to-date information on Virginia's timing and strategy for getting back to business, reopening resources, and more. The website has good general reopening checklist here.

Also, ForwardRVA is offering a starter PPE kit to small businesses (those with less than 25 employees) - including masks, gloves, hand santizer, signage (including VRLTA's Restaurant Promise poster - see below), and safety information. It's an $80 value, and you can sign up here TODAY to get it for free!
Change in Days for Governor's Press Conferences & VRLTA Updates

Reminder: as of this week, the Governor will be hosting press conferences every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:00 p.m. This is a change from the recent schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

To coincide with the Governor’s updates, VRLTA will be shifting our email updates to those days. This will allow us to provide you with a timely update related to the Governor’s actions and announcements. Watch for our updates each Tuesday and Thursday.
Virginia Restaurant Promise - Poster to print!

VRLTA has worked with health departments, localities, and restaurants to develop the Virginia Restaurant Promise, a set of commitments to employees and customers. We've put together a poster in three sizes that restaurants can print out and post.

Help spread the word!
Reopening Resources - Updated!

We continue to post resources related to reopening on our website. Visit this page for the latest reopening resources, and this page for the latest news.

PPE Resources -

  • Sysco - currently in stock: masks, gloves in a variety of sizes, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, surface sanitizers, and bleach - contact your sales rep for the latest product availability and pricing; also has a NEW reopening guide here
  • PFG - contact your sales rep for the latest product availability
  • Safeguard Promotional Products - facemasks and shields, hand sanitizer, gloves, gowns, acrylic shields (for checkout stands) - pricing here, or visit https://www.safeguardjack.com/ or contact Anne Meagher Watson at 804.355.2679 or Anne@SafeguardJack.com 
  • KO Distilling is producing Bare Knuckle Hand Sanitizer. More information can be found here.
  • The Hand Sanitizer Guys have bulk/wholesale hand sanitizer and hand sanitizing stations. Serving the NoVa and DC metro area.

Other Resources -

Business Support Grants/Loans

We've compiled a robust listing of opportunities - grants, loans, and other support - available to businesses in localities around the state. Visit this page to learn more, and let us know if you have additional resources to share.
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!