You are here

Taking care of YOU plus National & Regional Updates

April 6, 2020

We have a few updates, reminders and invitations to share with all of you as we head into a new week.

First and foremost, we want to remind you of a few resources to lean on as we know this has been a time of significant stress for you and your employees. Feelings of distress and anxiety can take an emotional toll as you are forced to make incredibly difficult decisions each and every day.

The CDC stresses the importance of taking care of YOURSELF during this time and following the suggested guidelines below of things you can do to support yourself.

  • Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly - even for 20 minute windows each day, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others through FaceTIme, Zoom, or phone. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

We are also sending resources below for you and your team on substance abuse and mental health support.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters, which coronavirus falls under.

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Click here for additional information from the CDC on stress and coping.

Ben’s Friends is offering live Zoom meetings daily at 1pm. Ben’s Friends is the food and beverage industry support group offering hope, fellowship, and a path forward to professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction.

CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees (Nationwide)
CORE supports children of food and beverage service workers by helping them to navigate life-altering circumstances and hardships (e.g., family death, injury, medical diagnoses, loss of home, etc.). CORE is the nationally recognized community of support for all food and beverage service families in need by ensuring they feel cared for and valued.

WAIA: Washington Area Intergroup Association: Guide to DC Area AA Meetings offering online meeting times.

National Relief Campaign
We are in the final phase of consolidating comments from last week’s ask for feedback as we develop coordinated messaging going into Phase IV of the federal relief package.  We will share more details about the campaign in the coming days with direction on mobilization to ensure our voices are heard across many platforms and on a national level. Stay tuned for that.

Additionally, the National Restaurant Association sent letters to the Governors Association and Conference of Mayors over the weekend, which provide important insight into conversations happening across the country.

The letters are an urgent plea to Governors and Mayors across the country to ensure that as state and local governments consider actions under their executive authority they mirror what our industry is advocating for nationally.  These letters can be used as we push a collective voice with our own local and state officials, as we have pushed similar messaging to our local leaders.

What is encouraging, is that although there are several national platforms advocating for relief, it appears we are a united voice, focused on the same critical messaging.

Key points from the letters emphasize:

  • Direct aid to restaurants and employees in the form of state and city-level grants to small businesses, tax credits around retaining employees, assistance with business interruption insurance, and deferral of health insurance premium payments.
  • Taxes, fees, and regulatory relief surrounding freezing UI rates, delay and deferral of a variety of taxes, suspension of licensing fees, and quick refunds for overpayment of taxes.
  • Commercial payment relief from landlords and utility companies.
  • Regulatory relief asking governments to suspend any mandates that may be scheduled to come into effect in next two months, and also quickly enacting regulatory changes to allow restaurants to operate as temporary grocery stores and/or sell alcohol with delivery and takeout orders.
  • Delivery regulations to cap delivery fees for restaurants and prevent 3rd party delivery services from charging surprise or hidden fees.

Click here for the Conference of Mayors Letter and here for the Governors Association letter.

We are hosting a regional industry wide call where we will be joined by Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs of the National Restaurant Association on Tuesday, April 7th at 3:30pm.  We have asked that he offer insight into their national campaign efforts, overall process, and priorities as we head into Phase IV to better understand how his efforts sync up with local and regional concerns rooted in independent operators.  We are also hoping to get clarity on the many complex messages relayed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as it relates to EIDL and PPP loans. We are hoping to get a better understanding of both.

When: Tuesday, April 7th at 3:30pm
Dial-in number (US): (857) 799-9569 | No Pin Needed

Join the online meeting:
Online meeting ID: ramw

(For additional assistance connecting to the meeting text "Help" to the Dial-In number above.)

Call with Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, and County Executive Bryan Hill
We have organized a special one-hour interactive briefing with Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, and County Executive Bryan Hill. We hope you can join this important call to learn more about what the Commonwealth of Virginia and Fairfax County are doing to aid businesses, and ask questions of these two key regional leaders.

Please RSVP to You are encouraged to send any questions you might have ahead of time. We hope you can join this important call.

Topic: Fairfax County Video Conference Call
Time: Apr 10, 2020 01:15 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 880 118 684
Password: 654006

Clarity re: Utilizing the CARES Act for Your Restaurant
(RAMW Members CPA Eats and RY CPAs contributed to the tips below.)

PPP vs Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

  • You cannot use the Employee Retention Tax Credit and PPP together, so it is worthwhile to determine which is more beneficial for your business. The ERTC might be a better option for anyone who is in hibernation with a decent-sized working capital nest egg, and the PPP loan might work better for businesses who are either about to run out of money, or who already ran out of it. These determinations should be made with your accountant, lendor, attorney or counsel.

Applying for PPP

  • The American Institute of CPAs determined businesses should be using gross payroll when calculating monthly average payroll costs. If you used the net payroll method by referencing payroll reports or lender templates, we recommend revisiting your calculation so you don’t receive (1) 20-35% less in funding or (2) a denied application.
  • RAMW members Seven Rooms have supplied this helpful PPP Calculator for those interested in utilizing. Our partners at CPA Eats are available to assist restaurants and businesses applying for PPP Loans, and our friends at MarginEdge have a sign up open for restaurants who are interested in their joint industry referral to a banking partner for expedited loan assistance. Learn more. RAMW Members RY CPAs have a COVID-19 resource guide for businesses here.

This week, there are many opportunities for you to connect with leaders, elected officials and agencies, and we encourage you to take advantage of this to make sure you are informed on the most relevant relief and advocacy efforts.

Finally, we strongly encourage you to sign up to receive text message updates from us by texting the message RAMW to the phone number 52886, to receive real time updates.

If you have any questions, please email or check out for more information.