We are providing regular update emails to our brewery members. If you would like to receive these updates contact us here.
PPE Marketplace –The Association of Washington Business (AWB) has created a new website dedicated to helping businesses find the PPE’s they need to safely reopen, and a Business Toolkit to help prepare physical spaces for reopening and assist in communicating new health and safety protocols with employees and customers. The site is free to use and available to all Washington businesses. You can see the new website at www.reboundandrecovery.org.
6/5/2020 – WA Safe Start Plan Overview – Last week, Governor Inslee announced the WA “Safe Start Plan” a process that allows any county to apply to Washington State Department of Health to move to the next phase, from the phase that they are currently in. The application process includes target metrics set by the secretary and must be submitted by the county executive for review. Safe Start also allows for some flexibility for counties that do not meet the metrics needed to move to Phase 2. These counties may be eligible to temporarily move into a “modified” Phase 1 or “Phase 1.5” that allows some Phase 2 activities to begin while waiting for Phase 2 approval.
Latest County Updates for Reopenings: On 6/5/2020, 14 counties were approved to move into the next phase of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan. Clark, Okanogan, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties are approved to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2. King County was approved to move into a modified version of Phase 1. Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Wahkiakum counties are approved to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3. Breweries in King County may reopen for outdoor seating at 50% occupancy and indoor seating at 25% occupancy. All other Phase 2 health and safety requirements must be met in order to reopen. Our WBG reopening guide can be found here. Breweries located in counties entering into Phase 3 must continue to adhere to the established Phase 2 health and safety requirements and written plan, but may increase occupancy from 50% to 75% and may increase the cap on parties at a table from 5 to 10. Phase 3 also allows bar areas to open at 25% capacity.
May 11, 2020 – Phase 2 Guidance for Brewery/Restaurant/Tavern Reopenings – Governor Inslee released guidance for Phase 2 “restaurant/tavern” reopenings. Phase 2 includes all breweries, regardless of license type. The guidance issued also applies to restaurants, taverns, wineries, distilleries, coffee shops, juice bars, and other like food and beverage establishments. In order to reopen in Phase 2, businesses must comply with the outlined requirements. A link to Phase 2 requirements and a memo outlining what types of businesses are included can be found here. Note that, statewide, we are currently in Phase 1. Some small counties meeting state criteria have been approved to move to Phase 2.
4/23/2020, Governor Inslee gave a public address, saying it is unlikely that many restrictions under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order will be modified before May 4th and laid out a framework for the loosening of restrictions contingent on a steady decrease of the spread of COVID-19 in our State. You can find more about Washington’s Recovery Plan, here. Breweries, deemed essential services under the order, may continue the following operations as approved under the original order:
- Breweries may produce and distribute beer
- Breweries may make beer to-go sales, including growlers, curbside sales and deliveries. For curbside sales and deliveries, please complete and submit a “Temporary Activities Form” to the WSLCB. The form can be found here, under curbside and delivery service.
- No consumption can take place on a brewery premise, inside or outside
- Breweries must implement rules and procedures to help facilitate social distancing of 6 feet
Best Practices for Implementing Social Distancing here.
Personal Protective Equipment – How you can help
4/17/2020 – Monthly/Quarterly Tax Filing and Payments Info:
Many monthly and quarterly employer tax filings and/or payments have been deferred. Here’s a quick round-up of the latest status on tax filings.
WA DOR Taxes: Certain payments have been deferred. You are still required to file, even if you don’t pay. More info found here.
WA Beer Excise Tax (WSLCB): Penalties for late payments waived through May 4th (retroactive to end of February). You’ll still need to file. Info here.
Federal Beer Excise Tax (TTB): 90-day postponement for filings and payment. More info here.
Quarterly Unemployment Taxes (ESD): Unemployment taxes and reports have not been deferred and must be filed and paid, however, you can request a penalty waiver here if you are unable to pay.
Worker Compensation Premium (L&I): L&I is now offering a L&I Tax Grace Period for premium payments, along with payment plans for employers facing financial difficulties during the pandemic. Under this new offer, employers can request for their payment to be deferred for up to 90 days, or can ask for a 90-day payment plan. Either way, the delayed payments will be penalty- and interest-free. Payments for the first quarter of 2020 are due no later than April 30. To be eligible for this coronavirus-related assistance, employers must contact their L&I account manager if they know they won’t be able to make their quarterly premium payment. Account managers are available by phone at 360-902-4817. Click here for more info and filing links.
Direct Shipping via common carrier (UPS, FedEx) to WA Consumers: WA breweries can apply for “internet sales” privileges and once approved, can ship beer to consumers residing in WA State. Fill out the attached Added Activities form LCB, requesting Internet Sales privileges. Orders must comply with the rules found here.
Extending Outside Service and/or Changing Floor Plans to comply with Phase 2 occupancy and social distancing requirements: If you are temporarily altering your floor plan to accommodate the 6 foot rule (moving tables around, etc) you do not need to get approval from the LCB. If you are looking to extend into new outdoor spaces (sidewalks, parking lots, adjacent picnic areas), you need to submit a request to email@example.com.
LCB Webinar Recap & Link: On 5/19/2020, WBG co-hosted a Phase 2 Reopenings webinar with the WA Hospitality Association and WA Wine Institute, featuring speakers from the Liquor & Cannabis Board. Chief of Enforcement, Justin Nordhorn, and Director of Licensing, Becky Smith, covered a wide range of topics including bar seating, changes to floor plans, extending outdoor seating, curbside orders and deliveries, what to do with expired beer, and more. You can watch the full webinar, here.
Keg Registrations – No Longer Required for Breweries – Per LCB: With the passage of HB 2412, Domestic breweries licensed under RCW 66.24.240 and microbreweries licensed under RCW 66.24.244 are not subject to RCW 66.28.200 when selling or offering for sale kegs or other containers containing four gallons or more of malt liquor of the licensee’s own production, or when selling, offering for sale, or leasing kegs or other containers that will hold four gallons or more of liquid. This requirement is not in effect yet, but due to the impacts of COVID-19 LCB will not enforce this during the period before the official effective date of HB 2412, which is June 11, 2020.
WA Hospitality Employee Relief Fund Info and Links
Small Business Local Resources
The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development has been allocated $1.5 million to help qualifying small businesses located in Seattle with 5 employees or less
Amazon has created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to help small companies located within a few blocks of its Seattle headquarters
Additional Small Business Assistance:
SBA Loans & Grants:
Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act Signed into Law: 6/3/2020 – The legislation addresses many concerns brought forward by our industry and will provide flexibility for small businesses by: Easing loan forgiveness terms by lowering the payroll spend requirements from 75% to 60%. Extending the PPP covered period from the current June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Extending the forgiveness period (currently 8 weeks) to the earlier of: (1) 24 weeks after the origination of the loan or (2) December 31, 2020. Extending the safe harbor deadline to rehire employees and restore pay to avoid reductions in forgiveness from the current June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020. For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, visit the Brewers Association (BA) website, here.
SBA Releases New Guidance for Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness: 5/22/2020 – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released additional PPP guidance this week in the form of the Loan Forgiveness Application, which includes some key definitions and instructions for loan forgiveness. Those of you who have received loans, can find more info here.
Congress Approves Additional PPP Funding: 4/23/2020 – The House passed another coronavirus package that includes additional funding for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, as well as $75 billion for hospitals and disease testing. The PPP will receive an additional $310 billion, with $60 billion specifically earmarked for small lenders. The parameters for the program have not changed and can be found here. It is unclear when applications will be reopened. We are monitoring closely and will provide updates as they come. An alternative option for some businesses might be the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program. Here’s an article that provides a good overview of both programs.
SBA Tax information:
Department of Revenue info on how to defer certain tax payments
WA State Dept of Revenue will have authority to waive, suspend penalties and interest on certain late tax payments
Additional SBA Resources:
SBA Assistance for Breweries During the COVID-19 Crisis: What’s Available, webinar hosted by the Brewers Association
Unemployment Security Department Resources:
Dept of Employment Security emergency rules and a Q&A sheet for employers and employees impacted by the coronavirus
Financial Resources for WA Residents:
Employment Security Dept & Dept of Commerce resources and tools as they become available here
Department of Health:
Mental Health Support: Washington Recovery Help Line at 1-866-789-1511.
Brewers Association Resources:
Believe in Beer Fund: The Brewers Association has partnered with Bottleshare, a fundraising non-profit dedicated to the craft beverage community, to create the Believe in Beer Fund to support breweries and state brewers guilds impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund is open for breweries and state guilds from across the country to apply for financial assistance for operations expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities. Beginning April 24 and through the end of American Craft Beer Week on May 17, individuals can contribute to the fund by visiting GoFundMe.com. Relief funds will be available to breweries and state guilds that demonstrate immediate financial need due to COVID-19 and meet the outlined criteria.
Brewers Association Best Practices for Beer To-Go Sales, The Brewers Association put together guidelines for breweries to follow when selling beer to-go from their establishments. This guidance includes best practices for maintaining sanitary practices and social distancing in light of COVID-19. Learn more here.
Brewers Association write up on $2 trillion stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and what it might mean for your brewery here.
BA offering all nonmember breweries a temporary membership free of charge, also not expiring any current brewery members at this time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join and gain access to COVID 19 related updates and online resources.