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Updates on PPP Guidance and Local Relief 5/4

May 4, 2020

Dear Operator, 

I hope you found a few moments of sunshine this weekend as we are entering yet another busy week, as Governor Northam is likely to address Virginia’s reopening plan as early as today.  We are hard at work on DC’s Reopening plan, and hosted an industry specific call yesterday where we were joined by more than 100 DC operators. We hope to submit a draft plan to Mayor Bowser on May 11th that will be based on recommendations from you, our local industry, regional leaders, and health and safety experts. 

Today, I am pleased to start the day off with good news in terms of relief. Earlier this morning, the Treasury Department released new guidance on PPP loan forgiveness provisions. Citing their “de minimis” exemption authority, they advise that an employer will NOT be penalized with reduced PPP loan forgiveness if an employee rejects an offer to return to their job. The National Restaurant Association is continuing to engage Treasury to seek guidance on outstanding issues, but this is a modest step in the right direction.  They are continuing to push for relief, along with all of us industry-wide, for additional PPP fixes. 

Tomorrow, the DC Council is introducing additional emergency legislation to provide support and protection for the small business and worker community. We have been working with the Council closely to ensure the unique needs of our industry are addressed.  We are hopeful that legislation will include the following: 

Business Interruption Insurance 

  • Business interruption insurance will now cover full or partial closure due to the COVID-19. 
  • The bill provides that no insurer may deny a claim for loss of use and occupancy, loss of business income, and business interruption due to losses arising from actions taken in response to the Mayor’s Order issued during a Public Health Emergency, including the partial or complete cessation of the insured’s business, and such claims shall not be denied because there is no direct physical loss of or physical damage to the property of the insured, the insured’s business premises, or to any other property utilized in connection with the business.  
  • An insurer that indemnifies an insured who has filed a claim may apply to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (“Commissioner”) for reimbursement from funds collected and made available for this purpose.
  • The provision applies only to those businesses with 250 employees or less.
  • It is fully expected that these provisions will be litigated heavily by insurance companies, but they do provide some support for business interruption claims. RAMW engaged with the DC Attorney General early on, and he is committed to defend this law on behalf of the District

Clarification on expiration of alcohol pick up and delivery privileges

  • The temporary legislation which allows ABC on premises licensed establishments such as taverns and restaurants to sell alcohol for pick up and delivery does not expire until November 2020.

ABC privileges for second premises during the health emergency

  • An on-premises retailer’s licensee that is registered with the Board may also register with the Board to sell beer, wine, or spirits in closed containers accompanied by one or more prepared food items for off-premises consumption from one additional location other than the licensed premises.  This means if you have demand for additional carryout and delivery, you may service the demand from another location in addition to your current licensed premises.
  • Board approval shall not be required for the additional location provided, that the licensee separately registers with the Board and receives written authorization from ABRA prior to offering alcoholic beverages for carryout or delivery at the additional location and there is a certificate of occupancy in place for the additional location or it is outside, private property or is public space occupied under a public space permit.
  • We will share more information on registering as it becomes available.

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.

Cap on Third Party Delivery Fees

  • Commissions payable to third party deliver companies are limited to 15% during the health emergency. 
  • In addition, consumers must be informed, before the transaction is finalized, of all fees, commission and payments imposed by the delivery company on the restaurant.

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. 

Utility repayment plans

  • Utility providers must allow repayment plans for repayment of unpaid utility amounts. The plans must allow repayment of unpaid amounts over at least a year.

Finally, to close this email out with additional good news and a much needed distraction, TODAY at 3pm we are announcing the 2020 RAMMY Awards Finalists. You can view a video announcement of the finalists at

Be safe. Be kind.