Uncle Sam Wants You (to Work Full Time)

Is hiring about to get easier? And big news about the RRF—plus what you can do to make sure the fund gets refilled.

Uncle Sam I Want You for the U.S. Army Recruitment Poster
Meet your new restaurant recruiter. / ©ARAK7/123RF.COM

The Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) is reporting on the state’s efforts to get people back to work full time before the end of June—a cause that’s near and dear to every operator’s heart right now.

If you haven’t already applied for a grant from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), do it now, as applications close at 10 p.m. on Monday, May 24. And most importantly, make sure you sign this petition for the RRF to receive additional funding, so if you didn’t receive a grant this time around—or even if you did—other operations still in need will have a chance.

The following information comes from the CRA’s May 19 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here.

Governor Polis Announces Colorado Jumpstart Incentive Program to Address Staffing Crisis

On May 19, Governor Polis announced the Colorado Jumpstart Initiative to help incentivize employees to full-time work. The State believes that these incentive grants will provide individuals with the resources they need to return to the workforce quickly and assist with statewide economic recovery.

The restaurant industry shed 94,000 jobs at the height of the pandemic. The Governor’s Executive Order directs the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to make direct payments of up to $1,600 to eligible individuals who return to full-time employment between May 16, 2021 and June 26, 2021. This program will specifically provide recipients of unemployment insurance benefits with extra financial support to help set up Coloradans for future success when they return to work. Workers who resume full-time employment before the end of May 2021 will receive $1,600 and those who are back to full-time work (at least 32 hours per week) by the end of June 2021 will receive $1,200. Individuals must maintain employment for at least eight weeks to receive the full benefits.

Applicants must be Colorado residents; have completed ID.me identity verification; must have certified for at least one week of regular state unemployment benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation during the period beginning March 28, 2020 and ending May 16, 2021; and must return to work full time before June 26, 2021.

Payments will be distributed to qualifying workers in two payments through July and August 2021.

For full eligibility requirements and more information, view the program factsheet here. View Employer FAQs here.

As we know this is top-of-mind for restaurants in Colorado, we will continue advocating for more help to overcome the hiring challenges facing our industry. 

Application for Restaurant Revitalization Fund Closes Monday, May 24: Help Us Refill the Funds!

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) will stop accepting new applications at 10 p.m. MT on Monday, May 24. As of May 19, the SBA has awarded 38,000 restaurants with more than $6 billion. Over 303,000 restaurants have requested more than $69 billion in funding. Two weeks into this program, it is becoming increasingly clear that restaurants across the country need increased funds to help make up for the fiscal damage of the pandemic.

We, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association have created a grassroots petition to policy leaders — from the White House to the Congress — urging additional funding for the RRF to ensure it can provide real relief to the restaurants that need it. We will use the petition to press Washington for action. Please sign here!

The National Restaurant Association has produced a “next steps” guide that walks you through everything you need to effectively – and legally – utilize your RRF grant to preserve your restaurant.

If you have any questions regarding the RRF, please reach out to covidlegal@corestaurant.org.

Denver Passes Ordinance Regulating Single-Use Plastics: Here’s What You Need to Know

On Monday night, May 17, the Denver City Council approved an ordinance that will require restaurants to offer plastic utensils, condiments, and other single-use serviceware only when customers ask for them. Single-use serviceware includes all types of single-use items provided by a restaurant like chopsticks, utensils, napkins, condiment cups and packets, straws, stirrers, splash sticks, cocktail sticks, etc. This bill does not prohibit restaurant employees from offering these items to guests – employees do not have to wait for guests to request these items.
There are some exemptions to this ordinance, including self-service stations, room service meals for hotel guests, and specific accessories used by third-party delivery services such as cup lids, spill plugs, and trays.
The City’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency will proceed to a rulemaking process following the passage of the ordinance. We will be closely monitoring the rulemaking process as it progresses in the coming weeks. Although there is no established timeline in the ordinance, the Office anticipates that the rules will be finalized by 2022.

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