Governor announces $100 million plan for business support, unemployment insurance rate relief

Today Gov. Jay Inslee released his budget proposal for the coming biennium that urged legislators in January to quickly approve an additional $100 million in grants to assist struggling businesses. The proposal also includes a reduction to the projected increase in unemployment insurance taxes. Businesses like yours begin receiving unemployment insurance rate increase notices on Dec. 18, and this proposal would reduce the cost those letters describe. Read more about the plan here.

Restaurants and third-party delivery companies agree to public policy principles   

Yesterday, the National Restaurant Association introduced its Public Policy Principles for Third-Party Delivery that were endorsed by DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates and Grubhub. The association said this new agreement is the first step toward ensuring that restaurants across the country have a level and fair playing field when it comes to third-party delivery. The association plans to model legislation on several of these principles. Read more here.

[Now open] Paid Family & Medical Leave Small Business Assistance Grants 

Small businesses that had an employee access the state Paid Family and Medical Leave program in 2020 can now apply for a grant. Grants are awarded in $3,000 and $1,000 amounts depending on whether a new hire was needed, or if business expenses increased to cover an employee’s medical leave. To be eligible for these grants, your business must average 150 or fewer employees. Businesses that average fewer than 50 employees must pay the employer portion of premiums to be eligible. Apply through your Secure Access Washington account.

[Action Alert] Tell Washington cities “Hands off the Lodging Tax”   

The Association of Washington Cities has released its upcoming legislative agenda. The proposal calls for raiding lodging tax funds to use in municipal budget shortfalls, hurting the hospitality industry more than it has been because of the pandemic. Click here to send a message to your elected officials.

Take the survey: Restaurants and coronavirus transmission  

The National Restaurant Association asks you to take its survey to provide real restaurant accounts of coronavirus transmission in the industry. The association said all responses will be kept confidential, and the results will help its team defend against non-data driven restaurant restrictions.

Seattle extends eviction moratoriums and relief measures into March 2021

Seattle has extended the current moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small business evictions in the city through March 31, 2021.  Also, late fees on delinquent utility accounts and a pilot utility discount program have been extended as well. For details, click here.

Retro refunds a total of $10,276,000 this year

Retro, the association’s workers’ comp program, started mailing refunds Dec. 14 and will continue mailing them through the end of the year. Additionally, Retro members’ membership investments from Oct. 2020 to Sept. 2021 and 2021 Retro program fees have been paid by Retro. This means Retro members will have no out of pocket costs from the association through Sept. 2021.

Single-use plastic bags—what you need to know 

During the 2020 legislative session, the legislature passed a statewide ban that prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags starting Jan. 1, 2021. We’ve asked the Governor to issue an emergency proclamation to delay before the effective date, but for the moment, the Jan. 1 date still stands. Read more here.

Dine-Out (DO) Washington: Digital Take-Out Dining Guide

Berntson Porter is proud to partner with the Washington Hospitality Association to provide Dine-Out (DO) Washington: Digital Take-Out Dining Guide. This interactive guide will allow you to find and support the incredible local restaurants in your area, and provide information on safe dining options available during this time. If you are interested in being included in the guide, please email to learn more or visit our website linked below.

Office Depot PPE items on sale for a limited time

In a flash sale, Office Depot has significantly marked down PPE items such as disposable masks and hand sanitizer. Look at the full list of products and prices here. To take advantage of the sale, contact Alister Marcille at


[Webinar] CEO Podcast coming Jan. 6 

Join Washington Hospitality Association President and CEO Anthony Anton in conversation about the upcoming 2021 legislative agenda at 10 a.m. Jan. 6. Register here. Sponsored by Parker, Smith and Feek.

[Webinar] Ready for Winter: Return to indoor dining and delivery tips 

Join us at 10 a.m. Jan. 7 for this webinar that will discuss what you’ll need to know as we return to indoor dining. We’ll also discuss delivery tips if you are thinking about expanding or doing it. Hear from Andy Cook of Harbor Foods and Tami Kennedy from Bargreen Ellingson. Register here. Sponsored by ShiftPixy.

Show diners your commitment to their safety 

The ServSafe Dining Commitment shows your customers you’re dedicated to their safety. Committing means you have met a strict set of requirements that support food safety and adhere to coronavirus guidelines. Once approved, participants can request a decal to place on their windows or doors. Check out the commitment here.

As the ServSafe Food Handler is not accepted in Washington, the association has worked with ServSafe to ensure our state food handler’s certification is enough to satisfy the requirement. When filling out the form, fill out the first food handler space with this code: FH Washington certificate 985012020 and leave the remaining nine spaces blank.

For assistance, contact Kelsi Mayther at

ServSafe Manager Online is here to stay

Washington can’t have in-person ServSafe Manager classes, but your employees can still get certified online. Employees can take the course and exam with an online proctor, all from the safety of their own homes, at their own pace. Register here.

Industry Roundup

Domino’s to spend $9.6 million on frontline worker bonuses (QSR)

Spokane actress feeds the homeless and supports local restaurants with $12,000 donation (KXLY)

Owner of Charlie P’s weighing his options during COVID-19 restrictions (KHQ)

Giving Tree donations to help restaurant workers impacted by COVID-19 shutdown (KIRO)

How consumers will use restaurants this holiday season (Restaurant Business)