[July 30, 2021] - Mask Mandates & Covid-19 Regulations / Oregon Jobs & Spending / Ee
ORLA is in the midst of an epic run of events which started with the sold-out ORLA Open Golf Tournament earlier this week, the launch of the second Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy class, and the Northwest Food Show this Sunday and Monday at the Portland Expo Center. We hope you can join us at the Show and take advantage of all it has to offer – or if time is limited, stop by for an hour and sample some great products. Registration is free for ORLA members ($25 at the door).
Here are the latest updates from your association:
Mask Mandates & Covid-19 Regulations - Our team is closely monitoring the impact of the CDC’s announcement this week that everyone—regardless of vaccination status—should return to wearing face coverings in certain regions across the nation with high levels of COVID-19 community spread. Several jurisdictions in other parts of the country have already announced they will mandate masks again, and we anticipate that others will in the coming days. Unfortunately, the politicization of masks may lead to conflicts in jurisdictions that mandate them. As a reminder, ServSafe has a free course on conflict de-escalation that ORLA members can utilize for staff. We learned earlier this week that at this stage Oregon OSHA has no plans to reinstitute face covering mandates. We will keep you posted on future developments.
Job Openings & Spending in Oregon - New data show the state of job openings and consumer spending in Oregon both up as of this month. With January 2020 acting as the baseline, the data shows job openings up in hospitality at a rate of 45.9%. Consumer spending in hospitality is up 7% over the same timeframe while overall consumer spending is up 13.1%. No surprise, the extent of our job opening crisis is impeding our ability to keep up with consumer spending gains across other sectors.
ENTREE Act - Last week, the House Small Business Committee Ranking Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer introduced legislation to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Appropriately titled the ENTREE Act, this bill generally reflects the GOP’s preference for how to replenish the RRF.
The ENTRÉE Act will:
National Hotel Stats - Our national partners at the American Hotel & Lodging Association have compiled the following statistics which provide important perspective on the state of our nation’s lodging industry:
[July 16, 2021] - ERTC Resources, Legislative Report
Don’t Leave Money on the Table! - Over 100 ORLA members registered for our Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) webinar earlier this week. ORLA members can find resources to assist in navigating the importance of ERTC and the cash infusion it can bring to our industry operations behind our online member wall (login and go to the Resource Library). You may be surprised how you can leverage both Payroll Protection Program dollars and Employee Retention Tax Credit dollars in ways the are completely above board and legal. ORLA’s Government Affairs Coordinator Tom Perrick is standing by to assist ORLA members in navigating the tools you need to maximize your cash infusion. We think you’ll find it less complicated than you might anticipate. If you have questions or need support as an ORLA member please email Tom Perrick at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not an ORLA member yet, make it happen through the this link.
ORLA Legislative Report - The ORLA Legislative Report from Director of Government Affairs Greg Astley can be read on our Legislative Session page. The 2021 Oregon Legislative Session brought about historic challenges with no opportunity for industry stakeholders to engage in person with lawmakers due to Covid regulations. ORLA’s goal with all legislative sessions is to protect, improve, and promote hospitality. Our work this session resulted in protecting the intellectual property rights of our restaurant operators across the state, improvements in unemployment insurance rates that will be paid by lodging and restaurant employers in the coming years, and an ongoing commitment to promote the importance of a fully functioning hospitality industry which was crippled by Covid. We hope you find the summary report helpful and we want to thank both Greg Astley and Bill Perry with Balance Point Strategies for their work on behalf of the industry.
OSHA & OHA Intelligence - We expect OSHA will announce an elimination of the enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols relating to Covid as soon as this coming Monday. ORLA participated in the second of a series of rulemaking advisory committee meetings earlier today and it is clear there is widespread support amongst the committee members to ditch the need for high frequency cleaning standards on top of robust cleaning protocols already in place in our industry as well as others. Also, please find the latest intelligence from the Oregon Health Authority on the status of Covid variants including data points on transmission and geographic penetration rates here in Oregon.
[July 9, 2021] - Golf Tournament | Cannon Beach Sales Tax on Meals | RRF in Oregon | OLCC Updates
ORLA Open Golf Tournament - We have more sponsorship revenue on the books for the golf tournament than we’ve ever had before. That is a testament to our Director of Business Development Marla McColly who continues to provide top tier leadership for the association. Our Government Affairs team is running point on lining up golf teams to make sure we have a sold out field of golfers. We have just over 2 weeks before we hit the links.
Cannon Beach Sales Tax on Meals - About 40 restaurant operators in Cannon Beach have their hands full with the 5-person City Council in Cannon Beach who decided this past Tuesday night in a 3-2 vote to move forward with a new 5% food and beverage tax on foodservice operations within the city limits. As you can all imagine, we’re floored by the rationale to impose a new tax on restaurants after the grueling reality of COVID inflicted on the industry. ORLA will be testifying along with local restaurateurs at the next meeting July 14.
RRF in Oregon - The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released their most detailed information to date on Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) applications and recipients broken down by state. 2,337 Oregon restaurants received RRF dollars totaling approximately $531 million. 4,930 applications for RRF were received by SBA from Oregon operators which means about 47% of applicants from Oregon were funded. You can view more details in SBA's RRF report.
OLCC Updates - The latest updates from the OLCC about alcohol service changes as a result of Governor Brown rescinding all of her executive orders pertaining to the COVID emergency are included in the OLCC press release. A number of important topics are covered including but not limited to alcohol delivery, to-go cocktails, liquor liability insurance suspension, premises expansion, and license renewal fees. You can view more information on the OLCC website.
[July 1, 2021] - Full Reopening | OSHA Changes
Full Reopening with OSHA Changes - As many of you saw, OSHA updates were sent out as an Announcement on some bigger workplace changes that aligned with the Governor’s full reopening of the economy yesterday, June 30. In anticipation of the updates, we tracked down intelligence from OSHA Director Michael Wood and released information to the ORLA membership on Monday, June 28 regarding the change to both face covering mandates and physical distancing mandates from OSHA which is separate from the Oregon Health Authority regulations we knew were already going away on June 30. Once we confirmed the information, we sent an update to our industry to give as much advance warning as possible.
ORLA Feedback on Communications - With communication preferences constantly changing, it’s important that our professional staff have up to date information from members on how they view our communication performance, especially after a year like we’ve had. We appreciate hearing your feedback on our communication products and how well they’re hitting the mark. Take Survey
Updated Year in Review - View an updated version of ORLA’s Year in Review here. There was such a deluge of work over the last 15 months for all of us that it can be easy to dismiss or simply forget the work that has been accomplished or the degree of its importance. We hope our work has been something you are proud to be a part of. Before Covid, it was an ongoing challenge to communicate the value of advocacy and government relations work. Many times its seen as an intangible that is nice to have for the industry but not necessarily important to operations on a day to day basis. Of course Covid changed this perception entirely as it consumed our world and altered our approach to so much in the industry.
Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy Progress - Even with everything going on, ORLA remains committed to the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy which we built from scratch last year in partnership with Travel Oregon and the Oregon Destination Association. The leadership program is owned by ORLA and will prove to be an important tool in helping the association train and cultivate leaders for the future of our industry. Due to Covid, we have two separate leadership groups actively engaging their peers in the program. Our first year class will have their third experience out of four in Seaside next week from July 7-9. The first year class will wrap up their program year in the Willamette Valley from September 29 – October 1. Our second year class launches their year in the Columbia Gorge July 28-30. For more info visit OregonRLA.org/OTLA.
[June 28, 2021] - Clarifying Your Questions about OSHA Rules
A number of industry operators have been reaching out since Governor Brown’s announcement Friday, June 25, about Oregon OSHA rules for employees.
We have confirmed as of today thanks to Director Michael Wood that face covering and distancing rules will be eliminated in alignment with the full reopening of our economy on Wednesday, June 30.
ORLA will continue working with Oregon OSHA as part of their rules committee to continue addressing the details involved with unraveling the Covid-19 directives.
We recommend sending a communication alert to your entire staff letting them know face covering mandates are no longer in effect as of Wednesday if you plan to follow state policy. If you so choose, you can still require face coverings as a business policy as well as allow staff who prefer to wear a face covering to continue doing so.
Congratulations to you for making it to this point and surviving the monumental challenges presented from the past 15 months.
Please reach out to your ORLA Regional Representative for the ongoing intelligence you need to operate your business most effectively.
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