Outdoor Dining Expansion & Restaurant Recovery Update

February 26, 2021
Massachusetts Restaurant Association
Outdoor Dining Expansion

The ABCC issued an order formalizing the Governor's announcement from yesterday regarding lifting of capacity restrictions. 
  • Included in this order was a reminder to local license authorities that outdoor dining expansion has already been authorized by the state. We have heard from a number of operators that their local license authority was unclear about the process. Expansion and authorization falls solely into the hands of the municipality.
  • In order to hit the ground running as early as possible, operators should contact their city and town and ensure that their outdoor dining plan has been approved.
Click here to see the order in its entirety.

Washington DC
ICYMI-Biden Administration Pauses new PPP applications for two weeks
The Biden administration earlier this week paused the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses with more than 20 employees, in an effort to get more loans to very small businesses.  
The two-week moratorium on larger applicants is to enable the more than 5,000 lenders to get the word out that there's still over $100 billion remaining in PPP loans. Plus, lenders will have more time to work with small businesses that might have poorly organized records. 
Important to note that applications that are already in the queue will not lose their place in line, but the two-week pause will impact new applications.

Senate Parliamentarian Decision on "Raise the Wage" Act
Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, last night ruled that the Raise the Wage Act is ineligible for inclusion into the budget reconciliation bill.
Next Steps:
Although it has been ruled ineligible for inclusion, it will remain on the short list of priorities for certain members of Congress. Working collectively with the National Restaurant Association, we will continue to apprise Senators and Congress of our concerns with the approach taken with including the "Raise the Wage Act" in the stimulus bill. 
As a reminder, the "Raise the Wage Act" would eliminate the tip credit and tip pooling, in addition to establishing a $15 federal minimum wage, which gets most of the media attention surrounding this bill.