NCRLA is closely monitoring the COVID-19 crisis, and we’re committed to bringing you timely updates on what it means for the hospitality industry. NCRLA is working around the clock with state leaders, industry partners, and subject matter experts to advocate for policies that support businesses and employees.
Federal Pandemic Relief Bill
On December 21, Congress unveiled a $900 billion relief bill to provide short-term economic relief to the country in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan includes several items that will benefit restaurants, bars and hotels, most importantly a second round of access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with unique provisions aimed to assist the hospitality industry, which continues to endure unparalleled job and revenue losses.
The plan targets restaurant, bar and hotel relief with provisions including:
- Enhanced PPP Loan Size: The PPP provides a business with a forgivable loan based on 2.5 times its monthly payroll costs. Restaurants and hotels, however, can seek forgivable loans based on 3.5 times monthly payroll costs.
- Enhanced Access to PPP: Companies that employ a total of 300 or more employees at all locations (combined) are deemed ineligible for the PPP. Today’s bipartisan plan reflects the reality that many mid-sized and larger restaurant, hotel and hospitality groups are on the verge of bankruptcy and allows them to qualify for PPP as long as they do not employ more than 300 employees at each physical location.
- One-year extension for Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) relief (Section 4013 of the CARES Act). This will allow for banks to continue to work with borrowers to gain additional forbearance and debt relief through the end of 2021.
- From the National Restaurant Association:
WHAT THE COVID-19 RELIEF BILL MEANS FOR RESTAURANTS
- Join National Restaurant Association for a detailed webinar briefing Dec. 23 at 1:30PM EST.
Other provisions in the bill that will benefit restaurants, bars and hotels include the deductibility of business expenses paid with PPP loans, enhancement of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), extension of the augmented Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), and increased tax deduction for business meals. More to come…
Cocktails-To-Go Allowed by Gov. Cooper
NCRLA’s 9-Month Fight Pays Off
The NCRLA team is pleased to share that Gov. Roy Cooper will allow cocktails-to-go by executive order, enabling restaurants and bars to sell mixed beverages (MXB) to-go/delivery during the pandemic state of emergency. With your help, we fought long and hard — for nine solid months — for this small business relief measure. From the General Assembly to the ABC Commission to the Governor’s Office to the Council of State, we advocated tirelessly on a near daily basis to achieve this milestone to help save restaurants and bars.
Read the FAQ to get the basics of Executive Order No. 183 which went into effect December 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. This is a complex order — for more in-depth analysis access our Cocktails-To-Go Webinar On-Demand.
***NEW: NC Foodservice Workers Given Priority 2 for COVID Vaccine
Based on new federal recommendations by the CDC Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the NC DHHS has updated and simplified North Carolina’s vaccine prioritization plan. North Carolina’s updated phases include:
- Current Phase – Phase 1a: Health care workers fighting COVID-19 & Long-Term Care staff and residents
- Phase 1b (to begin in early January): Adults 75 years or older and frontline essential workers
- Phase 2: Adults at high risk for exposure and at increased risk of severe illness
- Phase 3: Students
- Phase 4: Everyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination
Because currently there is not enough vaccine for everyone to be vaccinated at the same time, NC DHHS will open the next phase of vaccinations (1b) in groups, starting only with persons above the age of 75 in order to best manage vaccine dose availability.
In the coming days, NC DHHS will be sending more information on how North Carolinians over age 75 will access vaccinations beginning in early January. More detailed information is available at yourspotyourshot.nc.gov and in the resources below:
- Infographic of Vaccine Phases (English / Spanish)
- Deeper Dive: Phase 1a (English / Spanish)
- Deeper Dive: Phase 1b (English / Spanish Coming)
- Flyer on Vaccines (English / Spanish)
- Presentation COVID-Vaccination 101 (English / Spanish)
- Frequently Asked Questions (English / Spanish)
*** NEW Gov. Roy Cooper announced on January 6, 2020, that he is extending “Phase 3” and the modified stay-at-home order, alcohol sale restrictions, curfew, and mixed beverages to go with Executive Order 188 which will run through Friday, January 29.
- Statewide stay at home order from 10:00 P.M – 5:00 A.M with an exception for essential workers and those picking up food or essentials at restaurants and/or certain retail stores
- Beyond 10pm, restaurant dining rooms must be closed, but the businesses may remain open for takeout, curbside and delivery
- Beyond 10pm, retail businesses selling groceries, medication, fuel, or health care supplies may remain open
- 9pm alcohol sales curfew for on-site consumption
- No change in capacity limits at this time
The provisions below of Executive Orders 183, 181, 180, and 176 remain in effect as part of Executive Order 188.
Executive Order 180 was issued November 23, 2020 to enforce the face covering requirements and allow law enforcement the ability to enforce face covering requirements. This order is in effect until December 11, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Read the FAQ.
Local law enforcement may cite a person or business for failure to comply with the face coverings requirement. If an employee or guest refuses to comply with the face coverings requirement, law enforcement may enforce trespassing laws.
***New- Further mask requirements for restaurants:
• Restaurants must have all workers wear Face Coverings.
• In addition, these establishments must have all Guests wear Face
Coverings (including at their table) when they are not actively drinking
Executive Order 176 was issued November 10, 2020 and extends Phase 3 “Safer at Home” until 5:00 p.m. December 4, 2020.
Highlights of Phase 3 include:
NEW*** The limit on mass gatherings was reduced to 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. However, businesses remain under the capacity limits below***
- Restaurants can continue to open at 50 percent dine-in capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements. Read more…
- Bars will be allowed to operate outdoors at 30% capacity, or 100, whichever is less.
- Conference centers (including meeting space in a hotel), event space, and movie theaters will be allowed to open indoor at 30% of capacity, or 100, whichever is less.
- Small outdoor venues will be allowed to open at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100, whichever is less.
- Large outdoor venues (seating>10,000) 7% occupancy
- Amusement parks will be allowed to open at 30% of outdoor capacity with limits per ride.
- Capacity limits at restaurants, museums, gyms, and personal care businesses like hair and nail salons will remain the same.
- Meeting Rooms and Event Spaces
- Very Large Outdoor Venue Settings
- Indoor and Outdoor Small and Medium Size Venue Settings
- Movie Theaters and Indoor Gaming
- Bars and Outdoor Seating Areas in Bars
- Amusement Parks
- Places of Worship and Religious Services
- General Guidance for Businesses and Organizations
- Fall-Related Events
- Museum and Aquariums
- Indoor Fitness Centers and Gyms Settings
Executive Order 147-Face Coverings remains in effect and directs people to wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible. Businesses are required to post signs notifying guests of this requirement.
Signage for Businesses
Alcohol Curfew- This curfew was combined with Phase 3 under Executive Order 169 and was extended in Executive Order 170- Phase 3 Extension.
Read More: Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Orders
Count On Me NC
North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, NCDHHS, NC State Extension and Visit North Carolina have partnered to create the Count on Me NC initiative, a free online training for restaurant managers and staff that is focused on advanced cleaning, disinfection, social distancing, and hygiene practices to protect the public from COVID-19. So far, more 3,500 businesses have already completed the training. Take the training and show others that you are committed to the highest standards of operation during Covid 19. Learn more at CountOnMeNC.org.