• Jacque Coe

Advocating for Our Members Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

Since the first days of this crisis, your Seattle Restaurant Alliance local government affairs team has been strongly advocating for our restaurants and their teams. The team has worked daily with city leaders and staff to share personal and powerful stories about the swift and intense impacts the pandemic has leveled on businesses of all sizes. These measures are crucial to ensure elected officials know the impacts on our members, and what types of relief Seattle restaurant businesses and their employees want, really need and when.

Our team heard from restaurants that relief measures to free up capital is a top priority – deferring taxes and fees and providing access to grants and loans. Because many of these tools exist only at the state or federal levels, we have been using our voice to advocate at all levels of government. We are also working with local government to ensure that relief that can be provided at the local level is made available.

Examples of some of the relief measures the Seattle Restaurant Alliance team has advocated for include:

· Deferment of food establishment permit renewal fees from March 31 until May 31

· Our team secured permit fee prorating, extensions, or refunds for cancelled temporary food service events from Seattle King County Public Health,

· Curbside pick-up zones in front of restaurants, prompting Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to convert some on-street parking into temporary loading zones, For details or to request a loading zone near your restaurant, click here or call (206) 684-ROAD.

· Deferred payments on utilities for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Seattle City Light (SCL),

· Our team advocated for no late fees or interest on delayed SPU/SCL payments for all businesses. SPU/SCL has applied that change to businesses with less than $5 million a year in revenues, and

· Deferral of Seattle B&O taxes for businesses with less than $5 million in revenues in 2019.

These were not our only requests; we continue to work daily—often hourly—with city and county leaders and staff to share and advocate for what all restaurants want and need. Information on these relief measures, as well as other resources for your business is available on our searchable Coronavirus Resource Guide. Click here.

Have an idea for restaurant business relief that could help most of our members? Coordination is key! Email local government affairs coordinator Teddi McGuire at teddim@wahospitality.org or sra@wahospitality.org

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