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 info@ramw.org businesses that had been left out of its initial phase due to a shortage of funds in comparison to the number of applicants. During that time, we were also able to collaborate with the city’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Main Streets organizations to facilitate PPE requests for restaurants to distribute to staff. Through the end of May, we built a foundational structure upon which area employers, employees and supply chain stakeholders have been able to navigate public and private grant and loan options. A strong network of RAMW’s partners and industry professionals helped guide and support restaurants, including partners at banks, accounting firms, and through our national umbrella of resources available through the National Restaurant Association. We continued to support restaurants and employees as they navigated the challenges associated with furloughs and layoffs, urging the District to move quickly as the CARES Act increased unemployment payments temporarily to $600. We established a Worker Relief Fund, a partnership between the RAMW Education Foundation “Educated Eats” and Hook Hall Helps, which to date has raised and distributed more than $500,000 since March, providing thousands of meals and opportunities for restaurants to volunteer to activate as community kitchens utilizing modest funding to be able to open their doors and bring a few employees back on payroll. The operation continues in a modified way still in September. A LOCAL VOICE CALLING FOR NATIONAL CHANGE Through spring, national relief was a major focus for restaurant advocacy as it became clear that additional PPP funding, and major fixes to PPP, were both critical to reach restaurants. As the National Restaurant Association and the Independent Restaurant Coalition both pushed nationally for Federal support and relief, RAMW also launched a federal relief campaign rooted directly in the needs of the local, independent restaurant community that focused on making PPP work, rent relief, business interruption insurance and more. We worked with the National Restaurant Association, learning best practices and relief approaches in other jurisdictions, and in supporting some of our larger local members, worked to convince Congress to liberalize the requirements for PPP loan forgiveness. RAMW also engaged our local restaurant community to join in our regional campaign, reaching congressional legislators and urging local mayors and state leaders to push their national counterparts to consider new and updated relief options. We built support at home, working closely with D.C. Councilmember McDuffie on a new $100 million grant program that was devised and passed unanimously, creating a mechanism through which additional funds can be distributed as they are made available through a CARES Act extension. Equally important, we spent a great deal of energy working with national organizations to provide a clear call to action for locals to participate in the broad support of the PPP Flexibility Act, effectively leveraging our position in the capitol region to help all American restaurants. District Restaurant News 19