Masks…Again

Face masks, PPP forgiveness, and facts.

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Young blond boy wearing a face mask and blue shirt and sulking with his arms crossed.
Yeah, kid, we're all there with you. / Copyright: tanyaruza

Should you dust off those masks? Probably, but so far there’s no mandate. As your third-grade teacher told you, you’re on the honor system—so whether you’re restaurant staff or customers, don’t be an ill-behaved child, do the right thing, and above all, play nice.

There’s also relief on the horizon for PPP recipients anxious to hear if their loans have been forgiven, and the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) needs to know what’s going on with restaurant debt and wages in order to plan effective advocacy.

The following information comes from the CRA’s July 28 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here.

Updated Indoor Mask Guidance From the CDC: What Does It Mean?

On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updated masking and testing guidance based on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically as cases rise due to the Delta variant.

In areas with substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends that everyone – including fully vaccinated individuals – wear a mask in public indoor settings to help to stop the spread of the Delta variant and protect others.

We know this revised mask guidance has led to some confusion for employers, and we want you to know that we will keep you updated as we learn more from the State and local public health officials. Since there is not a mandate in place, the National Restaurant Association and CRA believe decisions about masks should be made by restaurant owners and operators to determine what is best for their business and to clearly communicate with their employees and customers.

Also know that when we talk to media we’re letting them know that restaurants are uniquely suited to keeping their staff and guests safe and that safety is always your top priority. Our comments include that restaurants in Colorado will of course follow any updated public health orders, but until those are imposed, we ask the dining public to follow any rules restaurants establish and be patient and kind as you all rebuild your teams and businesses.

New Online Portal Streamlines PPP Forgiveness Process

Beginning on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, restaurants that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of under $150,000 will be able to utilize a new online portal released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine whether their loans have been forgiven. 

The new web portal streamlines the forgiveness assessment by shifting the evaluation process from affiliated lenders to the SBA, the PPP’s administrator. 

In addition to the online portal, the SBA is launching a customer service team to help alleviate frustration that businesses felt while waiting to have their initial applications approved. 

The link will go live on sba.gov on Wednesday, August 4. 

Last Call For Our Debt and Wages Impact Survey

As Colorado restaurants begin walking the long road to pandemic recovery, we know that the damage done to your business over the past 16 months will take time and further financial assistance to overcome. Through this impact survey, we want to quantify the amount of debt restaurants have accrued since March 2020 to help us fight for additional assistance. We are also actively working to assist restaurants with surviving the staffing shortage, and are seeking information on wages and employee benefits to help us promote restaurant careers to the Colorado workforce.


Please fill out our survey here, and thank you so much for helping us in this crucial advocacy work!

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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