[Action alert] Email your legislators and sign in to oppose sweetened beverage tax 

A new tax bill, Senate Bill 5371, would add a $.0175-per-finished-fluid-ounce tax on sugary beverages (soda products, juices, etc) to fund public health services and health equity initiatives. This tax will almost double the cost to purchase a 5-gallon bag of soda concentrate. This is a $67 tax on an $85 product. The tax could cost some members thousands a month.

Action needed:

  1. Please sign in to oppose this bill before its hearing at 8 a.m. Monday. (Select Health & Long-Term Care Committee, 8 a.m. Feb. 22 and “I would like my position noted for the legislative record.”)
  2. Click here to email your lawmakers and tell them that now is not the time for a tax increase.

Big changes to pull-tabs start tomorrow 

Reminder: Your Washington Hospitality Association State Government Affairs Team helped pass Senate Bill 6357 in 2020, which increased the single chance pull-tab price from $1 to $5.


Your State Government Affairs Team also worked with the Washington State Gambling Commission to increase pull-tab prize limits. Click here to learn how to increase prize limits tomorrow.

Unemployment insurance rate notices re-issued this month 

The State Government Affairs Team reported Wednesday the Employment Security Department will re-issue rate notices for unemployment insurance by the end of February. The rate notice you received in December is now moot because of the big WIN achieved on your behalf with the signing of Senate Bill 5061 into law earlier this month. Learn more here.

Get a business insurance policy audit – you could spend less and increase coverage

Your business insurance policy could have holes you don’t know about. In a recent policy audit we conducted for a member, we found not only were they paying more for their coverage than they needed to, but they also lacked a few key coverages. In the end, we expanded their coverage and saved them almost 50% on premium at their renewal. Click here to learn more about our program.

Group purchasing: Save money with your current distributor

Get direct discounts on services, such as Airgas or Cintas, and manufacturers rebates deposited right into your account. This solution is 100% free and available to you today. To take advantage of these savings, contact the association’s own Alister Marcille at alisterm@wahospitality.org or 360.246.4472.



Restaurants can qualify for big tax credits

Join the association and tax experts at Covington & Burling LLP and BDO as they walk restaurant operators through how to take full advantage of Paycheck Protection Program loan filing and forgiveness and will provide updates on recent developments in:

  • Employee Retention Tax Credits for 2020 and 2021 (note: new rules might make you eligible for up to $19,000 per employee)
  • Net operating loss carryback
  • Qualified improvement property depreciation

Webinar is at noon Feb. 24.



[Webinar] Restaurant financial ins-and-outs with Rick Braa

Restaurant expert Rick Braa will give us an update on government programs for business owners. He will also answer your questions about the Employee Retention Credit and new grants you can get through Working Washington. Join us at 10 a.m. Feb. 24. Sponsored by IBA. Click here to register.

CEO Podcast with Anthony Anton 

February has been a busy month in Washington for restaurants. This month, expect:

  • Unemployment insurance relief—new rates are coming to you soon
  • $240 million in grants are expected soon for small businesses
  • All regions in Washington have moved into Phase 2, so restaurants can open at 25% occupancy

What should you expect in March? Join Washington Hospitality CEO Anthony Anton at 10 a.m., March 3. Bring your questions. Brought to you by IBA. Click here to register.

[Webinar replay] Pandemic Pivot: What has worked, what has not and what comes next 

Michelin-rated restaurateur Josh Kopel sits down and talks about how the restaurant business has changed in the last year: what innovations have restaurants used during this pandemic, what can they do better and what is coming next? Watch this webinar replay on our new private Facebook group.

[Webinar] Automate onboarding, scheduling and payroll

In our webinar on March 10 at 10 a.m., we will discuss the new technology available to operators to automate their HR administration. Automation gives you more time back in your day to do the things that really need your attention. Register here.

Industry Roundup

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson dies after battle with cancer (CNBC)

Expectations high for 2022 USA Track and Field national championships at The Podium in Spokane (The Spokesman-Review)

Restaurants and hotels draw $18 billion in PPP loans, the highest for any industry (Restaurant Business)

No-Li shovels it forward (The Spokesman-Review)

McDonald’s will let you buy early access to its chicken sandwich (Restaurant Business)

The importance of travel & tourism in driving the global economy (TravelPulse)

The new dining reality: Shorter menus, quicker meals – and ugly-delicious dishes (LMTOnline)