[WIN!] $1.73 billion in unemployment insurance relief passes legislature  

On Jan. 29, Senate Bill 5061, which provides $1.73 billion in relief for businesses through the unemployment insurance system, cleared its final hurdle and makes its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. The Washington Hospitality Association’s State Government Affairs Team worked swiftly since the legislative session began on Jan. 11 to get this bill passed. It will lower unemployment insurance rates before the first payment is due at the end of April. Click here to learn more.

Open-air dining guidance updated for booths

The guidance has been updated to require additional CO2 testing in booths with physical barriers in between and are operating under Open Air Option 1 or Option 2. To ensure those barriers aren’t prohibiting airflow, you’ll need to test the CO2 levels in each booth for 15 minutes. Read more here.

New guidance for card rooms and entertainment

The Governor’s Office has issued new guidance for the operation of card rooms and indoor entertainment under pandemic restrictions, allowing for some Phase 1 activity and establishing rules for Phase 2 reopening. Click here.

Federal restaurant relief? 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have outlined the framework of the coronavirus stimulus bill they hope to unveil later this month. The framework includes a reference to a “dedicated grant relief program for restaurants,” and Schumer has suggested that this program will receive $25 billion in funding. The National Restaurant Association has been working with congressional leaders on how best to structure a program that will benefit the entire restaurant sector. Click here to see other relief work by the National Restaurant Association.

[Q&A] New round of PPP guidance with Rick Braa

A new round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program is underway and we invited acclaimed restaurant consultant Rick Braa to host another in-depth webinar on what you need to know about PPP loans and forgiveness. Read more here.

[How-to] Employee Retention Credit with Rick Braa

You have questions about the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and Rick Braa answered. He breaks down how the ERC is calculated here.

Meet the need for mental health services with virtual care

Virtual mental health care is critical to overcome the barriers of in-office visits and address the impact on mental health. A 2020 Teladoc Health study of 2,505 employees found that nearly half of U.S. respondents said their mental health has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Read more here.

[Survey] Tell us how coronavirus has impacted your restaurant 

The Washington Hospitality Association is partnering with the National Restaurant Association to gather critical data that will be valuable to our ongoing advocacy and communications efforts during this crisis. Please click the link and complete the survey by the close of business on Feb. 10.


[CEO Podcast] An update from Anthony Anton


Our ServSafe Manager review has gone virtual

The association is again offering virtual classes for ServSafe Manager. After students have studied on their own time, this is the perfect opportunity to ask questions. The class is $75 for the review or $125 for the review, book and exam sheet. Register here.

Industry Roundup

Co-owner of Fremont Brewing, Sara Nelson, running for Seattle City Council again (The Seattle Times)

Seattle’s iconic Great Wheel now offers dinners at serious heights (Eater)

Restaurants vs. retail: Breaking down consumers’ plant-based appetites (SmartBrief)

10 arrested during Olympia hotel sweep of group demanding pandemic housing (MyNorthwest)