6/23/20 Update
LEAD NEWS - Phase Three Reopening: Governor Targets July 1

Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced that all of Virginia (unless he hears from specific localities they want to be held back) Virginia will enter Phase Three of reopening on Wednesday, July 1. This will remove the capacity limits on restaurants and campgrounds; however, social distancing will still be required. 

You can view the full Phase Three reopening guidelines here .

The Governor did indicate during his press conference that, if there were further COVID-19 surges in the future, that he may have to reintroduce additional restrictions on businesses. 
Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Proposed COVID-19 Regulations

Yesterday was the deadline to comment on the proposed Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Proposed COVID-19 Regulations. VRLTA submitted a letter with our comments and concerns regarding the proposed regulations.

You can view the VRLTA letter to VDOLI here .

The proposed regulations can be found here .

VTC Marketing Aid for Tourism Authorities
Governor Northam has announced a recovery marketing fund that is available to destination marketing organizations (DMO) across the Commonwealth. The program is titled the WanderLOVE Recovery Grant Program. This program will be administered by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), and will provide up to 50 grants to DMOs of up to $10,000 each.

You can read the entire press release here .

The WanderLOVE summer campaign is being integrated into the LOVEworks program, which you can view here .

Applications for the DMO WanderLOVE Recovery Grant Program open on June 18, 2020 and close on July 2, 2020. Awardees will be announced by July 15, 2020. You can apply for the DMO Recovery Grants here .

The DMO WanderLOVE Recovery Grant Program is only open to eligible DMO partners, but the VTC’s traditional Marketing Leverage Program (MLP) grants will open to all Virginia tourism industry partners in August 2020. More information on that program is available here .
Federal Update
 
The Small Business Administration (SBA), along with the Department of the Treasury, announced a revised, borrower-friendly PPP loan forgiveness application based on updates included through the PPP Flexibility Act (PPPFA). A new EZ version of the application is also available for borrowers that are self-employed or did not reduce salaries of employees by more than 25%.  More information is available and the applications are available here:


Last night, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Treasury released updated Loan Forgiveness rules. The improvements of the PPP Flexibility Act, new details on loan forgiveness timing, and required documentation for “business activity” exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction are included here .
 
Our federal partners, AHLA  joined over 120 national organizations  in supporting the JOBS Credit Act (H.R. 6776), introduced by Representatives Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and John Katko (R-NY). This legislation makes several improvements to the ERTC, which was included in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). The JOBS Credit Act will help provide critical relief to Hoteliers as they continue to grapple with liquidity challenges during the pandemic. The proposed changes to the program include:

  • An expansion of the credit percentage from 50 percent to 80 percent of qualified wages;
  • An increase of the per-employee limitation from $10,000 for all calendar quarters to $15,000 per calendar quarter (and an aggregate of $45,000 for all calendar quarters); and
  • Improved coordination between the ERTC and the Paycheck Protection Program so employers can be eligible for both programs, but with guardrails in place to prevent "double dipping.

A letter from over 100 members of Congress (including Virginia Congressional Representatives Riggleman, Connolly, and Wittman) was sent to Sec. Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Powell on CMBS relief. The final letter can be viewed here . Congressman Van Taylor, one of the lead organizers of the letter, is developing legislation as a follow up to this letter. We will be sure to keep you posted on those efforts. 
Updated Virginia Restaurant Promise Printable Posters  

We've updated the Restaurant Promise Posters to reflect the changes for Phase Two. Links to print each size:


Help spread the word! Tag us on social with #VARestaurantPromise, #VirginiaIsForRestaurantLovers, #VRLTA, #VirginiaEatsLocal, and #TakeoutTuesdayVA.
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!