Mass Restaurant Assc. COVID Update for May 27

By Massachusetts Restaurant Association May 27, 2020

DUA Alert - Stolen Personal Information

The Department of Unemployment Assistance’s (DUA) top priority is to protect unemployment claimants and make sure money disbursed through system is going to valid claimants. 
Criminal enterprises using stolen personal information from earlier national data breaches have been attempting to file fraudulent unemployment claims through the DUA system. This is part of a national unemployment fraud scheme.
If you have employees who believe someone has applied for benefits using their information fraudulently, please send them to the following webpage, They will be able to report fraud on this site.
Massachusetts Legislative Updates
Business Interruption Insurance
Last week the MRA testified in support of S.2655 - An Act concerning business interruption insurance.
We have heard from countless operators across Massachusetts who were shocked to learn that their insurance company would be denying their claim for losses associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. It is unclear if this situation will be resolved with state legislation, federal legislation or through the courts. S.2655 is an important piece of legislation to jump start this conversation. It is our hope that the Financial Services Committee will report this legislation out favorably.
Mixed Drinks to go
This bill would allow mixed drinks to be sold with takeout and delivery orders in Massachusetts – a measure that 34 other states across the country have adopted. Encourage your legislator to co-sponsor this effort.
Previously mentioned legislation
We are currently working on: 
  • Legislation to address meals tax remittance and interest currently due on June 20
  • Common sense changes to the tip law, 
  • The expeditious passage of the bill allowing the ABCC to defer to local license authorities regarding expansion of outdoor dining opportunities. 
PPP Update
The US House is on track to pass legislation tomorrow morning. The bill has undergone a number of changes in the past few hours.
Here is where the bill currently stands:
  • 24 week covered period (instead of 8)
  • 60/40 split (instead of 75/25)
  • Loan forgiveness still applies if FTEs won’t come back, or if revenue in December is below Feb 2020 levels.
  • Five year loan-repayment terms for future PPP loans
  • Payroll tax deferment restored
After the House passes this bill, we need the US Senate to pass a similar bill ASAP.
National Restaurant Association summary of bill can be found here:
MRA Webinar Series
The MRA has launched a series of on-demand webinars the will focus on a different aspects of the re-open process. 
Today's webinar: Opening our Restaurants Safely in the COVID-19 Era
As we begin to think about reopening our restaurants, we all need to be prepared to operate in a manner that will incorporate mandated COVID-19 mitigation procedures, keep our customers and employees safe, and assure standard food safety precautions are being taken.