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Free ServSafe Training & VA Updates 3/25

March 25, 2020
Dear Operator,
We wanted to share some helpful end of day updates as well as resources and opportunities for education, support and relief.  As you have any questions please email and we will get back to you with a timely response.
Complimentary ServSafe Training
As the industry faces ongoing challenges with COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association remains dedicated to helping everyone stay safe. ServSafe has been at the forefront of preparing restaurant and foodservice workers to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests, while also keeping themselves safe. Due to challenges presented by COVID-19, ServSafe has developed free resources aimed at keeping industry workers and the dining public safe.
Food safety training and education are more critical now than ever before, and more importantly are free to you.
ServSafe has made its standard, ANSI accredited, online ServSafe Food Handler training program available free of charge through April 30, 2020. Additionally, ServSafe has released two new training videos, free of charge, to reinforce safe food handling during the coronavirus outbreak, ServSafe Takeout: COVID-19 Precautions and ServSafe Delivery: COVID-19 Precautions.
These are great resources to take advantage of to keep you or staff trained while mitigating the current environment and mandates in place. To sign up for a course, visit
Vendors and Services Supporting Restaurants
Our community of vendors are also here to help you. There are many vendor partners who are offering free, pro bono, or special services to support the industry during this challenging time. This is just a sampling of some of the vendors offering support.
  • Essential System Solutions is making Heartland Restaurant Online Ordering available for free to any restaurateur, regardless of your current POS or processing solution, for the next 90 days with no obligation to continue beyond that point. Learn more here.
  • Additionally, Heartland is also offering lending opportunities to members as long as you are open for delivery or take out services. You do not have to change your merchant services provider. To learn more click here or reach out via email to our Heartland contact.
  • Many delivery services, such as GrubHub, are deferring commission fees and offering no-contact drop-offs.  
  • The law firm of Arnold & Porter is working pro bono to assist employees in need of help navigating applying for Unemployment Insurance. 
  • Contact: Daniel Porter at
DC Microgrants Application Update
We received a lot of questions around DC Microgrants. Unfortunately, the guidance we received may indicate that you need to start again with a new application if you encountered factors that did not allow you to accurately reflect your lost revenue. To start a new application: Click here.
If you have questions about your materials before submitting, email
If you have technical difficulties with the application, email
Virginia Updates
State leaders are discussing how best to support employers and employees during this crisis, including various short-term relief efforts that can be undertaken at the Reconvened Session of the General Assembly on April 22nd. It is possible that a Special Session will be called at a future date to consider long-term relief efforts. We are advocating on your behalf to ensure our community is supported.
The State Corporation Commission has imposed a sixty-day temporary moratorium on disconnects for any customer, residential and business, who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The State Supreme Court has issued an Emergency Judicial Order suspending all cases, including eviction cases through 16 April 2020.
Unemployment Benefits: The Governor has ordered a waiver to the one week waiting period for unemployment requests and the work search requirement. Click here for more information.
Funding has been made available through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Rapid Response funding to support Northern Virginia employers to remain open during this emergency. These funds are intended to assist local employers to avert layoffs and support other operational needs. Information on the program can be accessed here. Please note grants cannot be used to make payroll.
City of Alexandria: The City of Alexandria has taken several proactive steps to assist business owners. Among those steps are: 
  • Extension of Business Personal Property Tax Return Filing date: For businesses required to file a tax return on business personal property (furniture, fixtures, and equipment), the filing deadline moved from May 1 to July 1, 2020. 
  • Delayed payment of 5% Meals Tax collected by Restaurants & Grocery Stores. A temporary moratorium was approved on charging late payment penalties and interest on the Meals Tax.  This allows those businesses to hold on to the taxes they collected from customers between the time period of February 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020, and defer the payment to the City after the moratorium ends. It will also allow those businesses to enter into payment plans of the deferred taxes, without penalties or interest, provided they are paid in full by June 30, 2021.
We will, of course, keep you updated as we have more information. Currently, we are waiting for Congress to vote on the Phase 3 of the Congressional Coronavirus Legislation which will offer relief to the employers and employees affected by the pandemic.
As always, more to come.
Be safe and kind.