Biden’s Bombshell

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Employers with at least 100 workers will have to mandate employee vaccinations or weekly testing per an upcoming OSHA rule. / Copyright: pedrosala

Joe Biden has always said he’d be a one-term president, and he made that an inevitability yesterday when he announced mandated COVID vaccines or weekly COVID testing for a vast swath of the workforce. Find out what that means for the restaurant industry below (spoiler: nothing quite yet). In addition, an expansion of the EIDL loan program appears to be in the works.

And with the summer coming to an end, the financial and psychological ramifications of the last 19 months still very real, and the potential of a return to strict public health orders looming, industry workers can get free mental health training.

The following information comes from the Colorado Restaurant Association’s September 9 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here

President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan Will Expand Workplace Vaccine Requirements and EIDL Funding

On September 9, President Biden announced that his forthcoming six-part COVID-19 Action Plan will require the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an “expedited” Emergency Temporary Standard to address the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This order would mandate any employer with more than 100 employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative COVID-19 test on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. Additionally, employers will be required to provide paid time off for team members who need to get vaccinated and recover from potential side effects from receiving the vaccine. 

This rule is NOT yet in effect, and you do not have to make any changes to operations at this time. We will be working closely with our partners at the National Restaurant Association to dig into just what this means for restaurants when the rule does go into effect. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email info@corestaurant.org.

The other piece of the President’s plan that will directly impact restaurants is a new, forthcoming expansion of the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will increase the maximum amount of funding a small business can borrow through this program from $500,000 to $2 million, which can be used to hire and retain employees, purchase inventory and equipment, and pay off higher-interest debt. Repayment on these loans will begin two years after receiving funding, and the SBA will make sure that small businesses in our industry with multiple locations will have easier access to this loan program. Finally, the action plan states that the SBA will offer a 30-day exclusive window of access during which only small businesses seeking loans of $500,000 or less will receive awards. We will get you further details on all of the above as soon as we have more information.   

Again, this piece of the plan has also NOT yet taken effect, and we will continue to provide timely updates on this expanded funding.

Mental Health Resources and Training from CHOW

Colorado-based Culinary Hospitality Outreach Wellness (CHOW) has expanded their repertoire of mental health resources for restaurant workers by offering the Mental Health Amuse’ Course® to help professionals within the restaurant industry. CHOW will offer a free, four-week, ongoing mental health course that supports workers within the restaurant industry.

Learn more about all that CHOW offers our industry here.

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

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