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News & Press: Industry News

COVID-19 Industry Update - March 17, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lenza Jolley
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We are providing this update today as news and developments continually evolve with the COVID-19/Coronavirus health crisis. Governor McMaster announced the following in his press conference this afternoon:

  • Restaurants must close dine-in service beginning March 18. Restaurants are encouraged to utilize curbside pick-up and delivery options.
  • The South Carolina Department of Revenue has extended the deadline to June 1 to file and pay all business-related taxes. 
  • No organized events with more than 50 individuals may take place.

 

Please contact Lenza Jolley, communications manager, with any questions you may have.

 

Our office is open and we are working with full access to our phones, email and digital technology.

 

Our team is intently focused on supporting the industry. We are posting memos, recommendations, updates and news on our website and on our social media channels.

 

We are assembling additional resources and will provide them as often as we can.

 

Consistent with Governor McMaster's Executive Order, it is critical for restaurants and foodservice locations in South Carolina to stay open to provide consumers food via:

  • Takeout
  • Pick-up window
  • Curbside pickup
  • Delivery 


These operations involve minimal interactions between people (less person-to-person contact than someone going to a grocery store).

 

Grocery stores are currently experiencing product shortages and significant crowds. Restaurants have significant food inventory that can help feed our communities and alleviate crowding at grocery stores.

 

The SCRLA is partnering with the National Restaurant Association's and the American Hotel and Lodging Association's Public Affairs Teams:

We are working with the NRA, the AHLA and AAHOA in advocating for Economic Stimulus. Yesterday and today, we participated in conference calls with the NRA and other state restaurant associations and the AHLA.


Cash flow is king for our hospitality industry as customer traffic and sales have plummeted.


Below is a menu of options for policymakers to assist the restaurant industry during this critical time:

 

  • A federal bailout for the industry, including cash, grants and low-cost loans.
  • Meals taxes, where applicable, should be suspended indefinitely.
  • States and localities should delay sales tax remittance, such as a 90-day extension for remittance.
  • Business improvement and other hospitality fees/taxes should be suspended indefinitely.
  • Suspend estimated income and franchise taxes.
  • Suspend property taxes.
  • Quick refund of overpayment of estimated taxes.
  • Regulatory relief for restaurants in regard to unemployment claims.
  • Extend the window for restaurants to make payments on COVID-19 related expenditures.
  • Cap or reduce delivery fees for restaurants on third party delivery.
  • Jurisdictions that have banned cashless transactions should lift those requirements temporarily to facilitate better offside ordering and delivery.

 

U.S. Small Business Administration Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans, through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19. This program is designed to help the business community address financing and cashflow issues, which may exceed the underwriting requirements for local financial institutions.

 

If your business has suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 and you are interested in obtaining a SBA Loan, please contact Chuck Bundy at the S.C. Department of Commerce.

 

Resources

South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association Webinar


SC Department of Employment and Workforce

 

National Restaurant Association Webinars

 

American Hotel & Lodging Association Webinars and Talking Points


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