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Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association The LEE Initiative’s initial act of giving back to laid-off restaurant workers has expanded from one location in Louisville to 19 across the country. Here’s how they did it. Chef Lee's staff members handed out meals and other necessary items as part of the relief effort. The activism, started at a 50-seat boutique restaurant in Louisville, Ky., has sparked a nationwide food relief effort that today is providing 28,000 meals each week to laid-off foodservice workers in 19 cities. The program was launched literally...
The House of Representatives voted 4/24 to approve a $484 billion package to deliver aid to small businesses and hospitals and expand COVID-19 testing. An additional $310 billion was authorized for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), while $60 billion will be set aside for smaller lending facilities. There will also be an additional $10 billion for EIDL grants and $50 billion for disaster recovery loans. For those who have not secured funding loans, please reach out to your lenders immediately to be considered for funding. As we have been stating all along, PPP in its current...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association From commodities to cleaning supplies, restaurants add grocery staples to the menu. Here are a few recommendations. With coronavirus battering the restaurant business, operators are turning to groceries to help increase sales. They need it: National Restaurant Association research conducted this month reports that 97% of restaurant operators say their total dollar sales volume was lower than it was during the same period in 2019 and those sales, on average, were down 78%. Consumers sometimes have to wait a week or more for...
While Mayor Bowser and Governors Hogan and Northam sent a letter to the Trump administration encouraging the continuation of telework for federal employees, we are also beginning to see regional leaders taking into consideration key indicators needed as we approach a phased-in reopening. Today, Mayor Bowser addressed this and we expect Governors Hogan and Northam to share similar information tomorrow.  RAMW is finalizing our industry reopening recommendations, based on your feedback, to provide these leaders with industry input and small business impact. DC Updates In a press...
Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2020) — Washington Nationals Philanthropies and the Greater Washington Community Foundation today announced a new partnership with Get Shift Done to launch the Get Shift Done DMV initiative which will coordinate, schedule, and pay adversely affected hourly workers in the hospitality industry to work shifts for local food access providers. Get Shift Done DMV, with founding investments from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Capital One, the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, and the Bainum Family Foundation and managed by...
The restaurant industry is being hit hard by COVID-19 with millions of hospitality workers out of work. OpenTable is committed to supporting the restaurant community and they recognize the road to recovery will be long and difficult. That’s why they’re excited to announce two new initiatives to help restaurants successfully reopen their businesses. First, an enhanced restaurant management platform OpenTable’s software has always enabled restaurants to connect with diners to manage reservations, prepare for shifts, and maximize table availability. During the...
Dear Operator,  We received many questions from you in search of guidance on the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Our partner, Matt Hetrick of CPA Eats provided some guidance to help answer some of your most pressing questions. However, before we get into that shared guidance, we want to start by addressing the elephant in the room, which is that we are fully aware that PPP in its current form DOES NOT work for our industry. We are fully aware that it has to be fixed and that additional funding does not resolve nor address all the deficiencies of this program. States from all across...
WEBINAR - UTILIZING INSURANCE TO MITIGATE LOSSES AND LIABILITIES RESULTING FROM THE CORONAVIRUS Lowenstein Sandler’s Insurance Recovery Group represents exclusively policyholders in seeking coverage from their insurers. They have received numerous inquiries regarding coverage for losses stemming from business interruption following COVID-19. They are offering a webinar on May 6 on that topic. The loss of life and economic costs from the COVID-19 pandemic have been staggering. Over the past few weeks, the entire business landscape has changed in fundamental ways. COVID-19 has forced...
Dear Operator,  Congress has reached a deal for what we have been referring to as Phase 3.5 of federal relief. The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that provides a $484 billion relief package that includes $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $60 billion will be set aside for smaller lending facilities, including "community financial institutions, small insured depository institutions and credit unions with assets less than $10 billion." There will also be $10 billion for grants under the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, $50 billion for...
Dear Operator,  Over the weekend, we launched an aggressive campaign to advocate for Congress to provide relief that works for our industry as they enter into discussions of what Phase IV of federal relief and aid will look like. This campaign is built on your feedback and puts forth a unified message of what our industry needs to recover from this pandemic. We have created a platform to amplify your voice and our issues, and now we need you to ACT TODAY.  If you have not participated in the campaign already, click here to send a letter to Congress. This important advocacy will...
Dear Operator, I hope you took a little time over the weekend to breathe in Spring.  We are all grateful for you as you continue to work hard, lead your teams, and bring needed joy and sustenance to those ordering your delicious meals and goods for takeout and delivery. As you might imagine, we are being pulled into countless conversations with leaders around the country about what the reopening of restaurants, retail and business in general may look like.  There are a lot of conversations with other states as they coordinate in state clusters with state governors as to what a...
With so much COVID-19 related information available, it can be hard to find specific guidance as it relates to insurance for the hospitality and retail business. USI has put together a webinar, COVID-19: Impact on the Hospitality and Retail Industry, to address this.  It provides critical and timely insight including actions that can be taken today to minimize the impact of the pandemic on an organization and their employees. This 30-minute on-demand webinar covers important information including: Issues created by COVID-19 that could affect the hospitality, retail or related...
Dear Operator,  This weekend we launced our Congressional industry-wide campaign focused on ensuring that Phase IV of the relief package addresses the real needs of our industry, and we NEED YOU TO TAKE ACTION TODAY.  While Congress is still working on increasing funding for PPP (what we have referred to as Phase 3.5), it is important that they start hearing from our local industry about the major fixes and overall mechanisms for relief that need to be made. We are including increasing funding for PPP into our campaign, even though it will likely be addressed in the Phase 3.5...
Dear Operators,    We have some important updates to share with you as new Orders were issued today in DC and MD impacting restaurant operators.     DC -  Earlier today, Mayor Bowser issued an Order requiring restaurant workers to wear gloves and cloth or surgical masks while at work.  All gloves and masks shall be procured by the business. This will go into effect on April 17th at 12:01am. This gives operators a short window to procure supplies if they need to, and we expect enforcement will be reasonable, understanding all operators currently open for...
Dear Operators,  We know there is a lot of information coming from RAMW and while we hope it’s useful, we are also mindful that it can be a lot to absorb.    Over the next couple of weeks, we will begin to streamline messaging to include real-time updates and action needed by you as you are considering and leveraging various relief efforts.  In the meantime, we are sharing a few quick regional updates below.   NoVA The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted in their meeting yesterday to approve the establishment of the Fairfax County Small Business...
Good Morning Operator, In talking with many of you, I know that so many of you are checking in regularly with your employees and managers who are not on site during this time. When your team was together each day, it was certainly easier to be there for one another, share in successes and the spirit of teamwork, and create a positive and uplifting work environment. Our current status is a whole different beast and while so many are taking measures to ensure co-workers and industry colleagues are supported through relief measures, meals and supplies, it is critical that we all touch base with...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association Social distancing has increased the adoption of online ordering as people spend more time at home. Having an ecommerce presence has never been more important to close the distance between you and customers. Many small businesses are still not using the Internet to conduct business. In fact, the Small Business Administration reports that 36% of U.S. small businesses don’t have a company website, according to an article in Small Business Trends. Restaurants simply can’t afford to be a part of that statistic. Now is the time...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association Washington, DC – National Restaurant Association Interim President and CEO Marvin Irby was named to President Donald J. Trump’s Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups. The White House noted during the announcement that the groups will work with government officials to help chart the path to recovery following COVID-19 closures. Irby released the following statement: “Restaurants have been deeply and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis as state and local governments have taken...
Original content c/o: James Beard Foundation by Maggie Borden Our industry is in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered restaurants, forced millions into unemployment, and left us with a future that is uncertain at best. Efforts are happening on the ground nationwide, from communities rallying around their local businesses, to national calls on Congress and our own relief fund. In this landscape, every small action helps, even for diners who are stuck under stay-at-home orders. With that in mind, we've rounded up suggestions and resources for aiding your local eateries, from...
In talking with many of you, I know that so many of you are checking in regularly with your employees and managers who are not on site during this time. When your team was together each day, it was certainly easier to be there for one another, share in successes and the spirit of teamwork, and create a positive and uplifting work environment. Our current status is a whole different beast and while so many are taking measures to ensure co-workers and industry colleagues are supported through relief measures, meals and supplies, it is critical that we all touch base with one another during this...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association While it doesn’t come close to making up for sales losses, a majority of consumers are maintaining their off-premises usage of restaurants. After mandated on-premises dining area closures were implemented in many parts of the country, tableservice and quickservice operators alike were left with two options – switch to an off-premises-only business model or close completely. While offering off-premises alone by no means made up for the on-premises sales losses, it did leave consumers with options to satisfy their restaurant...
It’s been 30 days since the region was upended and everyone had to consider what their temporary new normal needed to be going forward during this very uncertain period. And while we are not clear on exactly what is ahead, we will continue to support you with all of your present needs and prepare this industry for what may need to be and should be considered going into the next several weeks. From what we are hearing, small businesses are just now starting to receive updates and funding based on the loans they applied for depending on their lenders, and on which type of loans they...
Gelberg Signs would like to support Essential businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic. They are providing the selected signs shown here for free for any Essential business. To order please call, 202-882-7733 or 240-372-7148.
Dear Operators,   I hope you got outside to see some sunshine this week and that you are practicing self-care and stress management when you can during this time.  As an Essential industry, you are rising above every day and it is noticeable how hard you as operators are working to ensure safety for your employees, vendors, and takeout and delivery patrons by going above and beyond to establish strict protocol and safety standards. Earlier today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, said that the curve is beginning to flatten, and he applauded...
Original content c/o: Streetsense In the last month alone the retail and restaurant industry has been flipped upside down. Many local small businesses, however, are standing ground and leveraging existing conditions as an opportunity to test new product offerings and services, and most importantly, give back to the communities in need. Here are some quick solutions culled from our conversations with front-line business service providers, including the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Downtown Memphis Commission. We continue to be inspired by the creative ways in which...

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