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DC Legislation Clarifications

May 18, 2020

Dear DC Operator, 

As we head into the weekend, I wanted to remind you of specific relief that was passed and signed into law by Mayor Bowser earlier this week.  This is relief that your restaurant or operation can take advantage of RIGHT NOW.  Below is a breakdown of what is in effect with applicable amendments made by ABRA.  

Cap on Third-Party Delivery Fees: Commissions payable to third-party delivery companies are limited to 15% during Mayor’s Public Health Emergency, which is currently set to expire on June 8th. We are working to extend this beyond the Public Health Emergency to allow for many measures of relief to remain in place through all phases of reopening and recovery.  

If you are being charged more than 15% and have been since Wednesday 5/13, make note, and notify your delivery company that they are over charging you. 

Carryout and delivery pop-ups: On-premises retailer licensees, may sell beer, wine, and spirits with prepared food for carry-out and delivery from an additional location including private outdoor space or an existing permitted sidewalk café for up to 30 days. Operations may be conducted from 7:00 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. Advance registration with ABRA is required, register by clicking here. This is only for take out and delivery, and no outdoor seated dining or on premise dining is permitted while the Stay at Home Order is in effect. 

Liquor License Safekeeping: Typically when your business is closed for more than 21 days you are required to put your liquor license in safekeeping meaning your privileges are temporarily suspended, however during the Public Health Emergency this is not required. 

Mandatory tenant payment plans: Landlord's must provide payment plans for rent due during the health emergency. The plan will allow for payment of missed or late rent to be paid within the year to allow relief and deferral of real time hard costs.  There seems to be some deficiencies in the language currently and we are working with the Council to clean this up in the next few days.  More to come. 

No late fees for two year reports or trade name registrations: No late fee shall be assessed on two year reports for corporations and LLCs nor for trade name renewals provided they are filed by June 1, 2020. 

ABRA is accepting electronic signatures: All applications can be signed by electronic signature or through the submission of a scanned copy of the original signature.

ABRA is allowing self-certification: Applicants can now self-certify all liquor license applications, including new, renewal, manager’s and solicitor’s license applications.  As such, applications are not required to be notarized.  

ABC increased protest period: All persons and groups who qualify to assert a protest of an ABC license have 66 days—up from 45—to file a protest. Previous emergency legislation extended the protest period to 66 days only for ANCs.

ABRA allowing Electronic notification: Required application notices to ANCs now only need to be sent to an ANC’s DC government-issued email address. Electronic notice still needs to be provided to the Council and the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

On the national scope, the House is expected to vote today on the HEROES Act, which is an extension of the CARES Act and includes huge changes to PPP in our favor, as we shared earlier this week. We will send updates as they are available. 

If you have any questions, please reach out at Have a wonderful weekend!

Be safe. Be kind.