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.
9/25/2020 – Food Menu Requirements for Indoor Service Webinar Recording Link: WBG co-hosted a webinar on the new temporary food menu requirements for Safe Start indoor service for breweries, wineries, distilleries, and taverns. Representatives from the Liquor and Cannabis Board and State Department of Health discussed how to meet the new food requirements for indoor dining under your existing license. Consultants from Sysco shared ideas on how to create a simple menu. The recording also includes some Q&A from the audience.
9/11/2020 – Special Occasion License/Virtual Non-Profit Auctions Compliance: You may be seeing an increase in donation requests, as non-profits get creative with fundraising and move more and more to virtual events. Many non-profits may not be aware that a Special Occasion License is still needed to sell or auction alcohol – even for virtual events. The LCB has released these helpful guidelines for virtual auctions vs online auctions.
8/20/2020 – Important: Updated Food Menu Guidance to Resume Indoor Seating at Breweries, here. This week, the LCB released new guidelines for food menu requirements for indoor service at breweries. In addition to the menu requirements, all other Safe Start restaurant industry guidelines apply. You will find the full industry guidance, here.
7/31/2020 – New Safe Start Guidelines for Breweries, Effective July 30 – FAQ: The new restrictions for breweries, wineries, distilleries, and taverns went into effect July 30. You can find the latest requirements, including a new allowance for breweries with certain food service to continue indoor seating (more below), here.
Here’s the latest Safe Start FAQ for Breweries. Please note, while this document has been reviewed for accuracy by relevant state agencies, it is subject to change.
Update to Guidelines Regarding Breweries with Food Service: Today, the Governor’s office announced updates to Safe Start regarding the types of food service that will qualify for a brewery to continue indoor service at 50% capacity and according to all Safe Start guidelines for restaurants. These guidelines do not apply to outdoor service- there are no food requirements for outdoor service.
Breweries meeting the following conditions may continue indoor service, without obtaining a beer/wine restaurant license from the WSLCB:
Must provide a reasonable number of menu items, such as sandwiches, salad, soup, pizza, hamburgers, fry orders, or substantial hors d’oeuvres/appetizers
Menu items must be prepared on-site and may not be offered by a contractor
Breweries must obtain any required food service permit/license from their local jurisdiction
Many breweries were already serving food under a local food permit prior to last week’s order that breweries cease indoor service. This update will allow breweries to meet the established food service standards for beer/wine restaurant licenses and continue offering indoor service, without needing to apply to the WSLCB for a beer/wine restaurant license.
Your city/county food service permit may or may not allow for the service of the types of foods listed in the above requirements. If you are not sure what types of food your food service permit allows for, contact your local health department to ensure you have the appropriate permit.
We will be working with the Dept. of Health and the WSLCB in the coming days to provide you with more information regarding menu and preparation requirements.
This is a welcome update for many breweries that already serve food and for those that were beginning the process of adding a beer/wine restaurant license and are now no longer required to go through that licensing process. We appreciate the Governor’s office and the WSLCB working with us to quickly resolve this issue. We also know that food service is not a viable option for many breweries, and we will continue to work with state leaders on solutions for all breweries.
Yakima/Benton/Franklin County Update: A bit of good news out of Yakima, Benton, and Franklin counties this week: Yakima and Benton/Franklin health districts have announced that breweries and wineries may reopen for on-premise outdoor seating, alongside local restaurants. This is effective August 1. The updated Yakima County guidance can be found here. And the updated Benton/Franklin County guidance can be found here.
7/17/2020 – Yakima/Benton/Franklin County Update
6/5/2020 – WA Safe Start Plan Overview
May 11, 2020 – Phase 2 Guidance for Brewery/Restaurant/Tavern Reopenings: Phase 2 includes all breweries, regardless of license type. 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.
4/23/2020 – Washington’s Recovery Plan information, 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 expires on July 1, 2020. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com to join and gain access to COVID 19 related updates and online resources.