Government Asks

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Ask your State & Local Government Representatives to support restaurants

The GRA is fighting hard for our industry and is working to ensure Governor Kemp and all elected officials are aware of the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on restaurants. In a united effort to keep restaurants serving their communities once this has passed, we encourage you to contact your state and local representatives.

Taking action is just a couple clicks away! Click here to send an email or a tweet to your representatives.

Georgia COVID-19 Restaurant Impact Snapshot

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Local Asks:
  • Taxes on Restaurants: Defer excise tax payments and waive penalties for at least three (3) months with a payment plan option. Any penalties for delay in payment of those three months would be waived.

  • Elimination of Personal Property Taxes for restaurants through December 31, 2020, with a payment plan option (beginning in second quarter of 2021) with payments deferred through the rest of 2021 with no penalties or interest.

  • Business Fees: Elimination of fees related to the operation of restaurants through December 31, 2020 that includes a payment plan option (beginning second quarter of 2021) deferring payments through the rest of 2021 with no penalties or interest. Allow credit for those businesses that already paid any of these fees in 2020.

    • Examples for consideration: annual business licenses, alcoholic beverage licenses, environmental health permit fees, alcohol pouring permits, solid waste fees, public utilities (including water usage fees) and grease trap wastewater permits, and construction permit fees.

  • Tax Credit: Allow tax credit on real estate property taxes through December 31, 2020 for any restaurant that either owns its property or reimburses its landlord for real estate taxes.

State Asks:
  • Unemployment insurance experience rate forgiveness: Would prevent rates being increased due to this once in a lifetime crisis through December 31, 2020. Governor's Executive Order prevents rate increase due to COVID-19 claim filings.

  • Payroll taxes: Eliminating payroll taxes for restaurants through December 31, 2020 that includes a payment plan option (beginning in second quarter of 2021) with payments deferred through the rest of 2021 with no penalties or interest.

  • Insurance Assistance: Require insurers to provide business interruption coverage due to limited operations that are mandated by the government related to the current health crisis.

  • Restaurant Sales Tax “Holiday”: Declare a temporary sales tax “holiday” for restaurants, gradually increasing back to normal tax rates after 12 months.

  • Business Fees: Eliminate fees related to the operation of restaurants through December 31, 2020.  Include a payment plan option (beginning in second quarter of 2021) with payments deferred through the rest of 2021 with no penalties or interest and a credit for those businesses that have already paid these fees in 2020.

    • Examples for consideration: annual business licenses, alcoholic beverage licenses, and all state permit fees waived

  • Mortgage & Rent Payment Abatement: Allow state and local governments to intervene on behalf of small business with landlords and mortgage bankers to encourage flexibility in meeting rent and loan obligations with temporary assistance of up to three (3) months.

  • Emergency State Income Tax Abatement Extension: Extend a temporary delay in state income tax filings to December 31, 2020 that includes a payment plan option (beginning in second quarter of 2021) with payments deferred through the rest of 2021 with no penalties or interest. Many restaurants are unable to meet these filings due to payroll and occupancy costs.

  • Georgia Job Credit program: Allow an expansion to employers in the retail and restaurant business as well as expansion outside of opportunity zones and reduction of new job creation metric.

  • Tax Credits: Expand the investment tax credit to include retail and hospitality companies. Consider the creation of a state version of the employee retention credit. Increase the retraining credit cap or utilization of the credit more viable for small businesses.

  • Create a state tax credit for the cost of workers’ compensation insurance through December 31, 2020

Questions? Please don't hesitate to contact us.


Tell Congress: Restaurants need a "blueprint for recovery"

Based on devastating revenue losses related to government-ordered closures, economic realities, and projections, the restaurant industry’s survival is dependent on a targeted federal government response.  An unprecedented crisis of this scale requires a targeted relief plan for the nation’s second largest private sector employer.

Read the National Restaurant Association's full Roadmap to Recovery HERE.

Read the Blueprint for Recovery Issue Brief HERE.

Read the National Restaurant Association's letter to House and Senate leaders HERE.

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Action Plan:
  • Enact the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry Recovery Fund (RFIRF): The $240 billion RFIRF compensates restaurants for 1) government-ordered closures, 2) reopening “start-up” capital to meet massive challenges of reorienting the restaurant space, restocking inventory, and supplying the workplace with new safety equipment, and 3) rehiring and retraining the workforce. Any restaurant entity that has experienced a reduction in sales revenue of 25% or more due coronavirus can apply to the account, which would be administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

  • Replenish funding and fix the structural issues of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Ensure restaurants can select their loan period after government restrictions end, revise loan forgiveness requirements, and restore the 10-year loan term written in the CARES Act.

  • A “Healthy Restaurants” Tax Credit or Grant Program: Federal support to help restaurants modify physical facilities to accommodate continued social distancing, enhance sanitization and employee education, and expand use of personal protection equipment and disposable products when employees interact with both customers and each other.

  • Provide federal relief for employer’s share of unemployment insurance: Temporary tax forbearance for employers should be considered from the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA).

  • Enact the “SNAP COVID-19 Anti-Hunger Restaurant Relief for You Act of 2020” (SNAP CARRY Act): Legislation from Rep. Panetta (D-CA) and Senator Murphy (D-CT) expands the Restaurant Meals Program to serve all SNAP participants during the crisis and gives the U.S. Department of Agriculture ability to temporarily waive requirements for states and restaurants to quickly participate.

  • Increase funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Restore $50 billion in needed appropriations for organizations in economic distress, including those that need to access a second EIDL.


Thank Congress for Supporting Restaurants and Our Employees

YOU acted and Congress listened. Restaurant operators, employees, and customers sent hundreds of thousands of emails to lawmakers demanding Congressional action on a restaurant recovery plan. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes several priorities that we collectively secured.
Thank Congress for Passing COVID-19 Relief
Steps taken include:
  • Creation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The PPP provides loans through the SBA, and include a mechanism to be completely forgiven.

  • Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Businesses can defer (pay half by Dec. 2021 & half by Dec. 2022) their share of social security taxes.

  • An Employee Retention Tax Credit that provides restaurants with a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • A Fix to the Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) Tax Glitch: After many years, we finally won the fight for Congress to fix this drafting mistake. Restaurants can now permanently depreciate eligible renovations over 15 years, instead of 39, and they can fully and immediately deduct these expenses in 2018-2022.

Thank Congress for listening and taking steps to help restaurants persevere during this trying time: https://actnow.io/thankyou