District Restaurant News | Fall 2020

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1625 K St., NW Suite 210 Washington, DC 20006 T 202.331.5990 F 202.659.8701 LEADING AN INDUSTRY IN NEED


The health crisis that continues to affect us all began in earnest locally in March, when we immediately mobilized as an organization to identify and respond to urgent and varied small business concerns. We began what quickly became real time, hourly and daily response tactics to ensure all of our stakeholders were empowered with current information and the resources necessary to make essential decisions as their operations were paused. We provided legislators context, gathering real time information from our restaurants and their employees to help prioritize the strategic measures that provided relief to small, independent restaurant businesses. We began, and continue to, collect specific data shared with both the CFO of the District of Columbia and elected officials across the region, contributing to revenue projections and helping paint a holistic economic forecast of the industry’s recovery. In the first few weeks, we worked closely with members of the Council and regional leaders to ensure our industry received critical immediate relief measures that met the unique needs of our industry. As a direct result of our advocacy efforts, legislation was passed that: ● Allowed for the sale of alcohol for takeout and delivery; ● Placed a cap on third party delivery fees; ● Delayed regulatory fees, fines and taxes; ● Established A Tenant Payment Plan for mortgage and rent relief; ● Created a moratorium on commercial evictions and commercial rent increases; ● Created deferred payment or repayment policies among the region’s utilities companies, and; ● Provided forgiveness on late penalties for specific tax filings. These became just some of a growing list of financial and operational challenges that we took on to the benefit of strained employers. But protecting the region’s foodservice industry has, and continues to be, only part of its recovery. In April, I was asked to co-chair the hospitality arm of the ReOpen DC Task Force alongside Chef José Andrés. Gathering and conveying the urgent needs of all types of restaurant businesses was essential, and RAMW organized a virtual town hall for nearly 200 voices from every side of the industry. Information gathered there, and through constant, daily engagement of operator and supply chain businesses, directly informed the recommendations put forth by the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Health, ABRA, DCRA, the Office of Planning, and the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife. In May we worked efficiently with our longstanding partner Events DC to approve funding that extended the DC Microgrant program, providing access to over one thousand additional small 18 District Restaurant News