Oregon Hospitality Industry Continues Push for Midnight Curfew and 100-Person Cap Removal
Safe Adjustments Needed to Regulations for Restaurant and Lodging Establishments
Wilsonville, OR– The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is convinced two key regulations are ready for adjustments based on recurring COVID-19 weekly workplace outbreak reports. The weekly reports, available through the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) website, consistently show negligible outbreaks occurring in foodservice and lodging operations.
“We review the weekly reports from OHA religiously and can see the care being taken by our operators in controlled and highly regulated environments they manage,” said Jason Brandt, President & CEO for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “It is time, regardless of county phase, to allow operators the ability to stay open until midnight and to allow larger venues with ample square footage more flexibility in safely managing their capacity.”
Currently, the Oregon Health Authority requires all foodservice operations in Oregon to close at 10pm regardless of their current phase of operation. In addition, all foodservice and event venues including lodging event space must limit their indoor capacity to 100 people including staff.
“On the surface we realize a 100-person limitation sounds like an appropriate preventative measure to mitigate virus spread in Oregon,” said Brandt. “However, large scale venues have the ability to provide ample physical distance between associated parties of 10 or less and can accommodate more employees with hours while still operating safe, controlled environments.”
ORLA is focused on facilitating communication between the Governor’s office and small businesses operating restaurants and lodging establishments across Oregon. A recent push this past week to communicate stories with the Governor’s office resulted in over 100 small business stories being shared about how a midnight curfew would help save restaurants. ORLA hopes to share similar stories about the impact of the 100-person indoor cap as well and the ripple effect it has on local economies throughout the state.
“Some of the loudest voices in our industry on the importance of removing the 100-person indoor cap rule are coming from businesses who don’t have space to accommodate over 100,” said Brandt. “This showcases the ripple effect that hits smaller businesses when larger venues can’t accommodate larger groups in a community. Without the additional flexibility there is less activity and commerce in local communities and our operators rely on that foot traffic to stay afloat.”
For more information on the efforts of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association please visit OregonRLA.org.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which before COVID-19 provided over 180,000 paychecks to working Oregonians. Currently, approximately 55,000 of those workers, or 30%, do not have work available to return to.
Jason Brandt, President & CEO, ORLA
503.302.5060 | JBrandt@OregonRLA.org
The 10pm closure time is confounding to the hospitality industry. Nothing about COVID-19 changes after 10pm. It is still a virus our industry takes seriously, and we have completely changed our businesses to accommodate for its realities. With the information we have available seven months into the pandemic, the 10pm closure is not based on science and does not reflect the reality of the situation regarding transmission of the disease.
It’s time to demand answers for why businesses cannot be allowed to operate past 10pm. Ask the Governor why this limitation still exists and let her know where you stand!
Hospitality businesses are taking extra efforts to protect our communities, our customers, and our employees, and now we need help to make it on the other side of winter. We need the Governor to listen to us and trust us to help keep Oregonians safe.
Hospitality and Tourism Professionals to Embark on Experiences of a Lifetime
Wilsonville, OR – In partnership with Travel Oregon and the Oregon Destination Association, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) is proud to announce the launch of Year 2 for the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy (OTLA). Participants will begin their first multi-day program experience in Eastern Oregon, April 28-30, 2021, pursuing in-depth experiences and knowledge that will elevate their passion and excitement for our state’s extraordinary offerings. The deadline to apply for the class launching in 2021 is Friday, December 4, 2020.
“Much has changed in our world since the inception of the program and we're seeing incredible things happen with the current program participants who are half way through the inaugural year experience," said Jason Brandt, President & CEO for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. "The value of program experiences and professional connectivity created by the program will provide lasting benefits to those accepted to the program each year.”
OTLA has spent great deal of time and attention into keeping all participants safe in the age of COVID-19 and are committed to refining all logistics and experiences each year to protect the integrity of the program and the value it brings to those involved.
The Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy is a new experiential learning program targeted to tourism professionals seeking to polish their leadership and professional skills and make positive and lasting contributions to the state’s tourism economy. An advisory committee of tourism industry representatives helped shape the development of the program through a shared vision of cultivating stronger champions for Oregon's tourism industry. The program consists of four multi-day excursions to be completed over the course of a year.
ORLA has been intentional in its pursuit of activating industry champions and the OTLA program supports that goal. The academy provides a compounding benefit of bringing people together for learning through experiences and empowering them to make lasting contributions to Oregon’s tourism and hospitality industries. Participants will create lifelong relationships and networking pathways through their connections.
For more information on the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy, visit OregonRLA.org/OTLA.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which is comprised of over 10,220 foodservice locations and 2,000 lodging establishments with a workforce of 183,191, and a total economic impact of $13.8 billion in annual sales for Oregon.
Property tax season is upon us, and many property owners will be paying very close attention to their bills in 2020. Due to Oregon’s unique property tax laws, often the real market value and the assessed value of a property are very different, which can result in bills increasing even if the real market value of a property dropped in the year assessed.
If you want to appeal your property taxes, there are three general reasons for filing:
Unfortunately, these kinds of appeals do not consider financial distress.
To appeal, you must file your petition by December 31st with the Board of Property Tax Appeals (BOPTA) clerks in your county. To see contact information for clerks in each county, click here. Be sure to visit your county’s website for the correct appeal forms and fee information, or contact the clerk for them.
Appeals are reviewed by your county’s Board of Property Tax Appeals, made up of members from the community appointed by your county’s Commissioners. Appeals are typically heard by the Board between February through April. If you disagree with their valuation decision, you can then appeal to the Magistrate Division of the Oregon Tax Court by filing forms and paying a fee. To appeal beyond that, this chart has more information on where and when you must file an appeal—note that some of these dates may be extended by emergency declarations due to COVID-19.
If you have a special appeal situation, for example, needing to contest previous assessment years, read more guidance from the Oregon Department of Revenue on how to file an appeal.
As work begins on developing a new strategic plan that is responsive to Oregon’s ever-dynamic tourism economy, Travel Oregon and the state’s seven official regional destination management organizations have launched a survey to seek input from communities, local businesses and individuals that drive the state’s tourism economy.
Information collected through the survey will help Travel Oregon and regional partners set strategic direction, make funding and programmatic decisions in marketing, grants, tourism-related infrastructure, visitor management, and more.
Respondents can expect to answer questions related to what they currently experiencing as a result of wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, and what they and their communities need most to rebuild and support a strong, resilient and racially just Oregon tourism economy.
Please expect the survey to take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Please make sure before you begin that you have ample time to complete it from start to finish. The survey period closes October 30, 2020 at 5 p.m.
Need assistance with this survey or have questions? Please email Industry@TravelOregon.com.
Today SAIF announced ORLA/SAIF partners are receiving $299,813 in dividends from SAIF for their 2019 policy period. These dividends are being paid to members this week. While dividends cannot be guaranteed and are declared at the discretion by SAIF’s Board of Directors, this clearly represents another advantage of being part of the ORLA/SAIF program.
“Our partnership with SAIF Corporation over the past 3 years is assisting the hospitality industry in our continual pursuit of top tier safety for hard working employees across this state,” said Jason Brandt, President & CEO of ORLA. “Being a part of the ORLA/SAIF group is a no brainer when you add the potential for dividend payments each policy year to the group discount operators receive when they qualify for the program. We look forward to the ongoing partnership with SAIF Corporation as industry operators work to save every penny they can.”
ORLA’s endorsed service partnership with SAIF gives eligible ORLA members a workers’ compensation group discount that is validated by NCCI and approved by DCBS. As the restaurant and lodging industries face some of the most difficult workplace safety challenges, this partnership aims to reduce worker injuries and improve member’s safety programs.
During the pandemic, SAIF has remained open for business, serving Oregon's employers and workers. This has included taking steps to help injured workers who faced challenges accessing care and working to reduce the financial burden on businesses.
Ask your agent for an ORLA Group quote or contact SAIF directly at 888.598.5880.
SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. For more than 100 years, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.
COVID RELIEF NOW COALITION
New Coalition Of Public And Private Sector Leaders Call On Congress To Act On COVID Relief Before Election
Washington, D.C. (September 30, 2020) – COVID RELIEF NOW, a new coalition of nearly 200 major public and private sector groups across the U.S., today called for “No Recess without Relief” imploring Congress to not leave town for the 2020 elections without passing additional COVID economic relief – stating millions of jobs and survival of small businesses as well as vital government services are on the line.
The coalition stated that if Congress fails to act, millions of employees will be furloughed or terminated; millions of unemployed Americans will lose their unemployment insurance pandemic benefits; hundreds of thousands of companies will be at risk of closing their doors forever; and the vast majority of state and local governments will have to curtail critical services in order to balance budgets due to a decline in tax revenue.
Read the letter signed by coalition members, including the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, that was sent to Congress today:
This week is pivotal for COVID relief legislation and we must do everything we can to make sure our voice is heard. We need you to add your voice to ours. Write, call, and tweet your elected officials and tell them that the hotel industry’s needs must be included in any final bill.
Take action and share this message with your colleagues!
CHALLENGES AND RESPONSE
A Family of Hardworking Winners
“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life." – Amy Poehler, actress
Many of us who have been around for a while refer to those in our industry as our “Hospitality Family.”
The more someone works around those who are committed to service, the more connected and inspired they themselves often become.
With the onset of the pandemic, never has the innovative spirit, business savvy, and caring soul of our ‘family’ been so challenged. Our team at the Oregon Hospitality Foundation (OHF) and the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association see the daily struggles of our hospitality business partners and have been inspired by the innovative solutions launched in response. Encouraged by these efforts to address their business’ and community’s needs, we too have initiated proactive efforts in support.
In my last article, I mentioned that the foundation’s Board of Directors took steps to strengthen our organization, including: renaming ourselves the Oregon Hospitality Foundation, expanding our mission to support philanthropic projects, launching new fundraising programs, and creating new training support appropriate to current needs.
What’s happened since?
We have received requests for training assistance with the unique guest service and communication difficulties currently being experienced because of the pandemic. In response, we are creating an online series of easily digestible micro-sessions that share
tips on how associates can provide positive service while still supporting safety protocols.
The theme, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ focuses on helping prevent uncomfortable scenarios from escalating and causing unwelcome consequences by anticipating potential scenarios and practicing responses. Topics include;
We are grateful for a grant from Travel Oregon, sponsorship from Dutch Bros Coffee and EPB&B insurance, and our partnership with Togather Restaurant Consulting and VPW Media for their project support. We expect the series to be released in early fall. See release updates at OregonGuestServiceSafety.org.
Takeout and A Movie Fundraiser
Currently, we have raised and donated money to fourteen restaurants throughout the state who are providing a variety of solutions for helping feed those with food insecurity. Many of these restaurants are working to incorporate ongoing food support as part of their business model. Read more about these folks who are working hard to help change people’s lives by providing them with caring meals in our Champions article on page 16. You can also see a press release summary at bit.ly/OHFhelpawards. Additional awards are still available, see the application at OregonRLA.org/takeoutapp.
We also collaborated with Cycle Oregon and Filmed by Bike to present a film festival and Q&A that focused attention on the economic benefits of the hospitality and tourism industry to Oregon’s communities and now our industry’s own critical need for public support. A portion of the event’s proceeds were donated to the Cycle Oregon Fund, a grant program that supports projects including tourism and community projects particularly in rural areas.
Top of mind for many families are the myriad of struggles encountered in coping with the new demands of virtual education for students, parents, teachers, and our entire education system. We have been actively involved with discovering and creating resources for those who use our workforce training and Career & Technical Education (CTE) curriculum, such as ProStart.
One example was our partnership with Rouxbe, an online culinary school for professionals, to provide their academic resources and videos to ProStart schools on a free trial basis and later for reduced fees. We are also seeking sponsorships and grant funding that will enable us to provide online and on-demand videos to support teachers’ virtual curriculum needs. The vision is to feature industry colleagues who will highlight various aspects such as job opportunities, facility tours, career pathways, customer service techniques, new safety protocols in place, and/or offer engaging skill-building demonstrations.
Additionally, we are collaborating with Chemeketa Community College, the Oregon Coast Visitor’s Association, and the state’s workforce boards to ensure that quality hospitality training is available and accessible online, particularly for entry-level and supervisory positions. The goal is to help employees ‘hit the ground running,’ in order to reduce onsite training time needed and offer immediate value to employers.
I have yet to find the right words that portray my realistic recognition of the enormity of current challenges, particularly for our industry, nor my optimism that we will eventually recover.
However, no one knows how to work harder than our Hospitality Family, so maybe the quote below is appropriate and helps explain my optimism about the outcome of our efforts, together.
“As much as talent counts, effort counts twice.”
- Angela Duckworth, American academic, psychologist and
popular science author
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Unfortunately, looking toward the upcoming fiscal year, the foundation anticipates a 75 percent drop in revenue due to contract and sponsor funding reductions from affected partners. Your in-kind and financial contributions are greatly appreciated so that we may sustain and continue our good work. You can donate today at bit.ly/OHFDonation. Thank you. | Wendy Popkin, Oregon Hospitality Foundation
Wendy Popkin is the Executive Director of the Oregon Hospitality Foundation, a nonprofit 501c3 dedicated to providing educational, training, and philanthropic support to Oregon’s restaurant, lodging, and tourism industry. Wendy is a 35-year career veteran who describes herself as “fanatically enthusiastic about helping others enjoy the same type of fabulous career opportunities I have enjoyed in the hospitality industry.” OregonHospitalityFoundation.org