6/2/20 Update
LEAD NEWS - Governor: Most of Virginia Moves to Phase Two This Friday, June 5

T oday, the Governor announced that a majority of Virginia will enter Phase Two on Friday. Unfortunately, Northern Virginia and Richmond will remain in Phase One for the time being.

Under Phase Two, the following will be allowed:

  • Restaurants can do 50% occupancy indoors
  • Groups of up to 50 people are permitted
  • Gyms may reopen at 30% capacity indoors
  • Pools may reopen with some restrictions
  • Entertainment and public amusement may reopen with some restrictions
  • Youth sports may recommence

You may read the detailed breakdown of Phase Two here .

ABC Update

Today, VRLTA and the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. sent a letter to the Governor advocating for the continuation of cocktails to-go. You can view the letter here .
Federal Update: Help Get PPP Fixes Across the Finish Line!

Last week our voices were heard and the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill fixing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The Senate is poised to act on this bill, possibly as soon as today. But, if a single Senator objects, the Senate will have to spend days debating it before a roll call vote is allowed. That delay is too much for many of our nation’s hospitality businesses struggling to make their PPP loans work for them.   
This bill makes critical fixes to the PPP program including:

  • greater flexibility in how a hospitality business can use a PPP loan
  • longer time for a hospitality business to use a PPP loan
  • improvements to the rehiring deadline to allow a PPP loan to be forgiven
We hope that with prompt fixes to PPP, our industry can emerge from these growing challenges and provide support for the country one neighborhood at a time.
Our nation is in turmoil, and cities across the country are suffering. Our ask for your action today is not made lightly – we appreciate that many hospitality businesses are the cornerstones of communities in conflict. 
Restaurants: Click  here  to contact your Senators so that your voice can be heard.
You can view a letter of support from the American Hotel and Lodging Association here . AHLA has a separate action alert. Hoteliers:   Click here for the AHLA action alert - contact your Senators.
In addition, we have learned that bipartisan legislation ( HR 6995 ) has been introduced to freeze the federal per diem rate at a certain level to prevent an adverse impact due to the severe drop in room revenue and occupancy resulting from the ongoing pandemic. You can view the AHLA press release in support of it here .
Congressman Crist and Posey have sent a letter to the GSA regarding this issue that you can view here .
Local Update: Northern Virginia
As we mentioned last week VRLTA and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce sent a letter Jeff McKay who is the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors regarding that area entering Phase Two with the rest of Virginia.

We received a response from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman McKay. In it, he mentions that they requested that the Governor allow the Northern Virginia region to move into Phase Two in concert with the rest of Virginia.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Governor has decided not to allow the region to enter Phase Two with the rest of Virginia at this time

VRLTA Members Only Webinar THIS THURSDAY

Thursday, June 4 Webinar - 9 am: "Opening Challenges: What You Need to Know to Re-Open Safely" with New VRLTA Partner, Zedic

Zedic provides restaurateurs & hoteliers with health alerts, a knowledge base, and live chat to connect you directly with our medical professionals to help you through the COVID crisis. Learn more about how they can help you during this informative member webinar, brought to you by VRLTA. Roslyn Stone of Zedic will join VRLTA for a Zoom meeting on Thursday, June 4 at 9:00 a.m.

Takeaways from the webinar will include:
  • An update on the current COVID-19 situation
  • Understanding what current Virginia guidance for employees and guests means for you
  • Reviewing challenges restaurants and hotels in already-opened areas have faced
  • Knowing what tools are available through Zedic and others

Want to participate? Reach out to your Membership Director for the Zoom meeting info.

Local Update: 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. NEW THIS WEEK: Programs in the Town of Ashland, Chesterfield County, and Prince William County.
Another Chance for RVA Small Businesses to Get ForwardRVA PPE Starter Kits

Tomorrow, June 3, from 1-5 p.m., small businesses can pick up a starter PPE kit at the VRLTA office, 5101 Monument Avenue, RVA 23230. Kits are limited and first-come, first-served.

Learn more (and see other pick up locations) at www.forwardrva.com and please email Membership Director Brittany Blythe at brittany@vrlta.org to let us know you'd like a kit.
VRLTA Helps With RVA Clean-Up

Members of the VRLTA staff helped downtown RVA businesses with their clean up efforts yesterday.
Reopening Resources

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 -

  • National Restaurant Association - Has free reopening guidance available here.
  • ServSafe - Has free reopening training available on demand here.
  • NEW! Margin Edge offers help with automated invoice processing, inventory management, food cost management, and more. The company is offering their software free until September to anyone who wants to try it. To learn more, contact Jill Fountain at jill@marginedge.com or 540.287.3881.
  • EMR - Now through June 30, any new service call (existing EMR restaurant customers and new restaurant customers), regardless of their previous labor and travel rate for kitchen equipment service, will receive $99/hr labor, and $99 travel. Also, the company has a maintenance list for closed kitchens here. Visit www.emrco.com/locations for more info.
  • Ecolab - Has a variety of cleaning and sanitizing products available (list for hospitality and list for foodservice); Contact Carey Friedman at carey.friedman@ecolab.com or 804.840.3943
  • BMS Direct Inc - for printing of restaurant placemats and menus, including washable menus coming soon! VRLTA members get discounted pricing. Visit this link for more information or email leif.aagaard@bmsdirectinc.com for inquiries. 
  • Push Operations - Push Operations is a labor management solution for restaurants. Push is now offering restaurants its employee health pre-screening software. The software allows contactless temperature checks for employees, customizable pre-health check questions to employees, and effortless communication to employees who’ve worked with a team member that has Covid-19. This service is complimentary for VRLTA members! More information: https://pushoperations.com/covid-19-features/ or Tommy Truong at Tommy@pushoperations.com or 778.858.6325.
  • Sestra Systems - Offers touchless beverage dispensing and hand sanitizer stations.
  • Open Table - Their Open Door program, starting this month, offers new solutions and reduced or eliminated fees. Learn more here.
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! Tag us on social with #VARestaurantPromise, #VirginiaIsForRestaurantLovers, #VRLTA, #VirginiaEatsLocal, and #TakeoutTuesdayVA.
Vote for Abingdon!

Even though we're not all traveling and eating out as usual, we can still recognize our own! Abingdon has been nominated by USAToday for Best Small Town Food Scene. The town won in 2019 and would love to make The 2020 list. Please vote daily until June 29 (you can vote on multiple devices daily). Vote here: https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-food-scene-2020/
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!