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COVID-19 Resource

Published by tsalvato, 2020-03-23 12:04:43

Description: COVID-19 Resource


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Dear NHLRA Members, The coronavirus is a threat unlike any we have faced in the past and it has led to something I never thought I would see in my lifetime – a mandated closure of dine-in at restaurants. I have received calls and emails from many of you and I want you all to know, I hear your frustration and concerns. Please know that we are doing everything we can here to get you access to support and resources that will help you navigate this unprecedented challenge. Equally as important, we are advocating for support and resources for your employees as many of them lose their livelihoods. If we pull together as a community as we have shown we can, we will weather this storm and get back to creating memorable experiences for our guests. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to my team here. They have been working around-the-clock to make sure that you have the latest information as quickly as we can get it to you. We will continue to send regular updates and revise the COVID-19 page on our website as we receive new information. If there is anything you need from us, please don’t hesitate to ask! Stay safe and keep in touch, Mike Somers 3

SBA DISASTER DECLARATION On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved New Hampshire’s application for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which will help small businesses overcome loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the SBA, the loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for small businesses and may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster's impact. NH small businesses can now access and apply for assistance here. If you need help with the process, the SBA has a toll-free line to answer questions at 1-800-659-2955. The Department of Business and Economic Affairs, the SBA and its Resource Partners, NH Small Business Development Center, SCORE and Women Business Centers will also be providing workshops to answer questions and to help small businesses with the loan application process. A copy of the Disaster Declaration can be found here. COVID-19 FEDERAL ASSISTANCE PACKAGE President Trump signed a $100 billion Coronavirus Air Package into law on Thursday, March 19, 2020. It includes two provisions relevant to employers:  Providing paid leave to employees forced to miss work because of COVID-19 outbreak; an emergency expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  New federal paid sick leave law.  This new law covers employers with 500 or fewer employees.  This leave provisions will go into effect on April 2, 2020. The legal team at Fisher Phillips has details on each of these provisions. 4

ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL RESOURCES New Hampshire Hospitality Compensation Trust (NHHCT) In response to the Governor’s decision to close restaurants for three weeks, NHHCT is suspending payment of contributions for one month. We will monitor further developments and make further adjustments accordingly. Your workers’ compensation coverage will continue and you may want to adjust your payroll estimates for the remainder of the year to reduce costs. NH Business Finance Authority (BFA)-CAP Program The Capital Access Program (CAP) is a simple and flexible credit enhancement for small businesses utilized by New Hampshire banks. The CAP program provides support on term loans and lines of credit up to $200,000.00. The program can be used for temporary loans, working capital, equipment purchases, and many long term uses. More information can be found here. BFA Temporary Loans Direct loans from the NH Business Finance Authority for any business purpose with a maximum of $200,000.00 and a maximum loan term of three years. Loans have flexible amortization schedules and are contingent on satisfactory underwriting. Loans require approval by the NH Executive Council. More information can be found here. 5

GUIDELINES FOR SAFE FOOD TAKE-OUT  Do not allow customers to dine on premise.  There should be a minimum distance of six feet between individuals including staff.  If possible, orders should be placed via phone or e-mail, with payment being taken via credit card.  If an employee is sick or showing symptoms, they must be sent home immediately.  Follow the requirements of the local food code. This includes a focus on hand washing. WHAT ABOUT OTHER HOSPITALITY ESTABLISHMENTS? The Executive Order prohibits on premise dining or drinking in any establishments that sells food or drink. This incudes catering companies and breweries as well as lodging facilities and other events venues. Guests should not congregate in lobbies or public areas. SHOULD I REMAIN OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY OR CLOSE?  Does the revenue model for take-out only meet the expenses you need?  Is it worth staying open with a negative revenue model?  Consider the options of taking on additional debt.  Can I access Small Business Administration Loans?  Can I take out interest only loan?  Discussion with landlords: Operators should consider approaching landlords to reduce rents to somewhere around 6% of sales while operations are closed and for a 60-day period once we re- open. If doing some to-go or delivery sales, offer to share a percentage with them. Landlords should be our partners, and they should have flexibility if they want to get their tenants back and paying rent. The ramp up will allow business to get their feet back on the ground.  Contact your utility companies: You need a temporary time-out from payments. Ensure they will keep your power / gas / energy on. 6


ALCOHOL TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY The Governor has issued an emergency order temporarily allowing restaurant to provide a limited about of beer and wine in conjunction with take-out and delivery food order. GUIDELINES FOR SAFE ALCOHOL TAKE-OUT  All beer and wine sales for take-out and delivery are not subject to the 9% meals and rentals tax.  Do not allow customers to consume alcohol on premise.  Draft beer and mixed drinks can not be sold.  All deliveries of beverage and wine can only occur between the hours of 6:00am—11:45pm, 7 days a week.  There should be a minimum distance of six feet between individuals including staff.  If an employee is sick or showing symptoms, they must be sent home immediately.  Follow the requirements of the local food code. This includes a focus on hand washing. 8


GOVERNOR’S ORDER ON UNEMPLOYMENT Unemployment compensation is available IMMEDIATELY with no waiting period. The Governor’s Order on Unemployment can be found here. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS? All employees and business owners who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut due to the COVID-19 outbreak are eligible for unemployment benefits. Tipped employees are eligible for unemployment based on the total amount of wages claimed. When filling out the unemployment form, they should claim their hourly base wage and New Hampshire Employment Security will calculate their benefit amount based on all wages claimed. HOW DO YOU FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT? There are two ways to file a claim for Unemployment Benefits: ONLINE: File a claim or refile your existing claim anytime using the New Hampshire Employment Security online claim system. PHONE: Contact the Unemployment Assistance Hotline at (603) 271-7700 to file a new claim or refile your claim during normal business hours. 10

FILING CLAIM STSTEM Due to the unprecedented volume impacting the unemployment claim system, you will be assigned a block of time based on the first letter of your last name in order to file a new claim. WILL MY UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE RATE SKYROCKET? No, unemployment compensation benefits paid due to COVID-19 related layoffs will be charged against the unemployment compensation trust fund and not assigned against the account of the most recent employer. 11

ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLETED Discuss with bank regarding no or depleted revenue and the impact on current operational debt obligation. Contact landlord, have he/she become a partner in the business. Look for a move to 6% of sales until end of year. Contact your utility companies; you need a temporary time-out from payments. Ensure they will keep your power / gas / energy on. Turn off any auto-payment processes. Prepare to cancel all deliveries and services. Examples include:  Broadline distributor  Linen  Knife sharpening  Dumpster  EcoLab  Cable / Direct TV  Produce  Music  Beer line cleaning  Armored car  Coca-Cola  NuCo Post a professional sign on the door and update your website and social media platforms. Change the alarm codes for your building to reflect change in personnel. Deposit petty cash, register and change funds into the restaurant’s bank account. Verify the final payroll closed properly with end of week procedures. Close out your month end procedures. Alert your payroll company as to layoffs and changes in payroll, both hourly and salary. Employee contact info and address updated. Alert your health insurance company to the layoffs and the elimination of benefits . Set up your restaurant e-mail to be forwarded. Set up restaurant phone to be forwarded . If needed, complete a change of address card at the Post Office. Cancel all tour groups and reservations. 12

OPERATIONAL COMPLETED Wash all dirty china, glassware, silverware and stainless-steel items. Bus pans should be rinsed and wiped dry. Remove all products from the service aisle and service stations. Store in the holding room consolidated by type. Chemical, dry goods, small wares, paper etc. A final inventory of all food and beverage should be taken. Prepare and transfer all perishable food:  Video any perishable inventory that will be donated or trashed  Contact Food Banks for donations of perishables  Let staff take any food that cannot be frozen / saved Prepare beverage service:  Do not turn off beer systems  Take pourers off and tightly wrap open bottle tops of liquor in saran wrap  Ensure all alcohol is locked in cages or office  Bar glass washers turned off and empty  Clean / blowout all beer lines Idle HVAC in the 50’s. Turn off electrical breaker to exterior light timer. Set any tankless water heaters to the off position. Turn off gas to each unit. Turn off water circulation pump. Remove grease from frying units and thoroughly clean. Turn off all gas to kitchen equipment. Check for gas leaks. Ensure all kitchen equipment knobs are set to the off position. Booster heater turned off in the dish room. Empty the refrigeration on the line, unplug, and leave doors open. Unplug all refrigeration at the bar and remove any items that may spoil and leave doors open. Ensure all lights are off in walk-ins, kitchen, dining room, entry, and office. Ensure the back door is clean and gates are closed. All trash removed from building including office trash cans. Re-line all cans to keep fruit fly activity down. Perform a walkthrough ensuring walk in doors are closed and all exterior doors are locked. Turn off all entertainment devices. All patio couches / chairs pulled inside, wiped down, and stored. 13

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Per our discussions with the Department of Labor, it is our understanding that there will be no audits or inspections for the time being. Exceptions to this will be if there is a complaint filed for non-payment of wages worked or for not having Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage for employees working. There is no state guidance available at this time in regards to paying out accrued vacation for a temporarily laid off employee. The Department of Labor will also be deferring any current penalties until June 1, 2020. If you have specific questions, please contact the Department of Labor directly at (603) 271-3176. ACCRUED PAID TIME OFF The strict reading of RSA 275:43 V. requires accrued paid time off to be paid out upon leaving employment. Considering the current situation, the Department has indicated that they would not stand in the way of an agreement between an employee and employer that would allow for a payment plan over time. We would encourage businesses to document the agreement and have the employee sign it for back-up should this come up in the future. 14

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides services to ensure the health and well-being of citizens during a layoff. Dislocated workers can discuss healthcare options, apply for food stamps, cash assistance, medical assistance, childcare and medical savings. Individuals can apply online or by calling (603) 271-9700. Centers for Disease Control and Protection Centers for Disease Control and Protection is a valuable resource during this rapidly changing situation. Please visit their website for up to date information on COVID-19. National Restaurant Association and The American Hotel & Lodging Association The National Restaurant Association and The American Hotel & Lodging Association are actively engaged with local, state, and federal officials to help employers and employees address this public health emergency. New Hampshire Food Bank The New Hampshire Food Bank is encouraging the community to utilize their website whenever possible. If you have items that are not needed or you are looking to donate, please visit the New Hampshire Food Bank website to find a pantry closest to you. The New Hampshire Food Bank has currently ramped up their meal production as there is already a significant request for feeding opportunities around the state amid the COVID-19 epidemic. 15

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