Clarifications and Changes
With yesterday’s announcements I have received a number of questions around masks for scheduled events of 100 or more and I have some additional information to share with you. There are additional accommodations allowed within Emergency Order 63. The order states the following:
2. The requirements of Paragraph 1 shall not apply to the following:
(a) Scheduled gatherings where attendees are seated and separated by at least 6 feet from any person except those that are (i) a member of that person's household, or (ii) part of that person's party, or, (iii) assigned to that person's table. For scheduled gatherings subject to this exception provision, attendees must wear face coverings while entering and exiting the gathering and while moving to and from their seats.
There have also been a number of changes made to the Universal Guidelines and an overall expansion of the guidelines. Below is a list of the major changes but I recommend you review the entire document.
Finally the number of guests that can be at a table has been increased to 10 but there can be no more than 6 adults at each table. See the updated Restaurant Guidance.
This is a lot to digest so please reach out if you have questions.
Governor Sununu Issues Emergency Order and Tasks Liquor Enforcement
As I am sure you have heard by now, the Governor announced this afternoon that all scheduled events of 100 people or more, will now be mandated to wear masks.
He also announced that NH Liquor Enforcement will now be enforcing all state guidelines for hospitality businesses and may issue violations. I spoke to the Director of Enforcement and Licensing, Mark Armaganian, and he has assured me that their focus will be on education and compliance and that violations will only be issued to repeat offenders. The amounts for violations are still being developed by the Attorney General’s Office and need to be approved by the Governor.
We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available. Please reach out to me with any questions.
I hope you are all doing well considering the circumstances. I wanted to update everyone on a few things I am working on right now. First and foremost, I delivered a letter to the Governor's office last week seeking a dedicated hospitality industry relief fund. With restaurants operating at 50% in four counties, there will need to be additional support from the state for businesses to survive! To support us in our case for additional relief, please take a few minutes to complete the survey below. We will need this data to show state officials how dire the situation is on the ground.
As I am sure you are aware, there is progress being made in Congress to issue another COVID-19 aid package and there has been a lot of work done to target a chunk of relief specifically to the hospitality industry. We should see progress on this front over the next few weeks.
I have also sent a request to state officials for further clarification on a few issues I have received calls about that are critical for many of you:
Please don't hesitate to call or email if I, or anyone on my team, can help.
Important Survey for Additional Relief
As our industry continues to struggle to survive under the current restrictions, we are sending an appeal to Governor Sununu for a hospitality industry specific assistance fund. We need your help in this effort! Please take our 90-second survey and provide us with data to reinforce our case for the need for additional relief money for hospitality businesses. Thank you.
Apply Now: New Hampshire GAP FundThe Governor has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $30M of CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds for the New Hampshire General Assistance & Preservation (GAP) Fund to provide emergency financial relief to New Hampshire businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that have been unable to access support from other existing state and federal programs.
For additional information about this program and to apply, please visit the GOFERR website.
As part of a collaborative effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 across the state and keep New Hampshire healthy, we are supporting a grassroots movement to encourage the use of face masks in public and work settings. The initiative, #MaskUpNewHampshire, is to promote the public use of masks in order to keep our communities safe and our businesses open.
To learn more about this innititive click here for more details.
Memo to NHLRA members and NH’s restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality community:
President and CEO Mike Somers met with Governor Sununu today to advocate for industry needs for both businesses and employees. There are a number of other items in the works and updates will be sent out as soon as we receive the details.
We have received a number of questions from hotels that offer foodservice seeking clarification about how they feed their guests. We have reached out to the Governor's office for clarification and we will share that information as soon as we have it.
Below are the latest updates from this afternoon.
TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY GUIDELINES
Establishments should adhere to the take-out and delivery best practices we've compiled in this guide.
SBA DISASTER RELIEF
Earlier today Governor Sununu officially submitted a request that the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration provide SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses across NH. We urge our members to apply for assistance on the SBA website here.
GUIDE TO UNEMPLOYMENT FOR HOSPITALITY EMPLOYEES
Individuals who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic now have immediate access to unemployment benefits.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Per our discussions with the Department of Labor, it is our understanding 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 for hours worked or for not having Workers' Compensation Insurance coverage for employees working.
The Department will also be deferring any current penalties until June 1st.
HOW WE'RE PROMOTING YOUR TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY
Over on our NH Flavors Instagram, we're asking people to tag us in their take-out photos so that we can repost all of the great options customers have for dining at home.
We're also pushing the National Restaurant Association's #carryoutwednesday campaign on our social media.
Do you have a story to share about food donations? We know that members have stepped up in a big way to support their communities with food donations to local pantries and schools during this critical time. Please send any of your stories to Pam Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be highlighting these efforts during the next few weeks.
HOSPITALITY INSURANCE GROUP'S COVID-19 RESPONSE
Our partners at Hospitality Insurance Group are adjusting their business practices to reduce the financial impact of recent restrictions. The changes include:
Our COVID-19 Guidance and Resource page is also now up-to-date with the newest information. Please check that site for the latest developments.