The Side Dish

Finance to Table Education for Operating Your Restaurant

Dine-in closed during coronavirus outbreak

It’s official. Governments across the country have closed bars and dine-in services, and are moving restaurants to take out, delivery and drive-thru only. Colorado and California restaurants closed their dining rooms earlier this week and certain parts of Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson) are also shifting down as of March 17.

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As restaurant owners, you must be reeling. If you’re not in the affected areas, it could be yours next. What do you do if you find yourself facing a similar challenge? What’s your action plan? Are you going to stay full staffed and wait it out? Are you down-sizing or will you have to close completely?

Efforts to ease the blow are under way. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act last week and is expected to pass the Senate soon. The bill establishes emergency paid family medical leave, emergency paid sick leave and increases funding for unemployment insurance. The government acknowledges paid FMLA and sick time will place a burden on employers, so the U.S. Treasury is advancing credit on pre-paid taxes to offset the cost. There are conditions so read the fine print to make sure your business qualifies.

If you are needing financing assistance, the Small Business Administration is offering low interest disaster loan assistance to help tide small business over.

Unfortunately, even with assistance, you may find you need to downsize. Here are some resources for your employees in the event you have to lay them off or let them go.

They’ll want to file for unemployment. Arizona residents can file with the Arizona Department of Economic Security. California’s unemployment insurance information can be found here. Colorado’s here. Your state’s unemployment insurance sites will also include resources to help your employees find other jobs and other assistance.  For nutrition assistance, Arizona’s application can be found here, California’s here and Colorado’s here.

We’re here to help. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll continue passing along tips and best practices to help you and your restaurant business. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us. We’ll get through this together.

For more informations and updates on COVID-19, you can head to our resources page.

Beth Hawley