Texas Restaurant Association Coronavirus Updates

TRA - March 23, 2020 - Texas - Leave a comment

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  • COVID-19 Pandemic – March 21, 2020

    Dear Friends,

    I hope you had a good Saturday and were able to enjoy some fresh air. I had my twin 14-year-old girls out doing a little yard work, and I have to say, that felt more challenging than my days managing what is going on with COVID-19! Just proves they need to practice more so it is not such a “shock” to their system next time!

    Several things from today. One, we asked last week to have refunds available for permit fees related to canceled events. TABC delivered that for us today and below you will see how to submit your request. I worked closely with several of our congressmen and women in D.C. on the $1T package that should be signed tomorrow. Some good stuff for small business (< 500) but not a lot for larger businesses. We understand we need to support the entire sector so there are already discussions on the next piece of legislation to ensure it is broader and helps those mid-size and larger companies.

    I also began working with a North Texas representative to pull together the language to ensure all restaurants could be supportive in selling bulk retail product. Toilet paper is one thing, but we are also seeing grocery stores running out of meat, fresh vegetables, and more. Our ask is for the Governor to formally announce this availability and for our distributors to partner in order to make it happen. Many of you have already begun to sell retail items, but getting state support will ensure this can continue to expand quickly. This is a win for everyone and when it comes to keeping people safe with food, the restaurant community is the leader. More to come but we expect this proposal to go to the Governor’s office tonight.

    Finally, you will see a prayer below that was written by a fantastic board member who has also helped to provide me comfort as we navigate all that is happening around us. Stop whatever you are doing for a  moment, read through, share, and remember, we will get through this!

    See you tomorrow.

    Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D.
    President & CEO
    Texas Restaurant Association

    Refunds for Event Permit Fees

    TABC realizes that the Coronavirus situation is impacting the alcoholic beverage industry in several ways. One major impact is the mass cancellation of events, putting many alcoholic beverage businesses in a tough position.

    To help the industry during this difficult time, TABC is allowing alcohol industry members that have acquired a temporary permit for an event that has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation to apply for a refund of their permit application fees.

    To request a refund, send an email to TABC’s Licensing Division (licensing@tabc.texas.gov) that includes the following information:

    • Subject: “Event Permit Refund – Coronavirus”
    • Short statement explaining that you are seeking a refund for the application fees you paid for a temporary permit because the event for which the permit was acquired was cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation.
    • Primary permit number and/or the temporary permit number.
    • Name of the company seeking a refund.
    • Name of the cancelled event and the location at which it was supposed to take place.
    • Date on which you began or planned to begin conducting activities under the permit.
    • Date the event was cancelled (attach the cancellation notice).
    Read the Full Order and Instructions

    Restaurant Sales Tax Update

    As a reminder, on behalf of all of you, we have lobbied hard to secure flexibility on penalties and interest on the sales and mixed beverage taxes that were due yesterday. If you were unable to make full payment, due to the impact of COVID 19, make a good faith payment and call the Enforcement Hotline (800-252-8880) right away. Explain your situation to the agency, and if you have been in good standing, they will work with you.

    Mixed Beverage Clarification

    There has been a lot of confusion lately on selling alcoholic beverages to guests while all dining rooms are shut down. We understand the frustration many restaurant owners feel and have created this guide that will hopefully explain the TABC rules.

    Mixed Beverage (MB) License Holders

    Texas restaurants with a Mixed Beverage (MB) permit can now deliver alcoholic beverages with the following conditions:

    • You must have a valid Mixed Beverage (MB) permit.
    • Note: a Food and Beverage (FB) certificate is not required.
    • The alcohol must be ordered along with food prepared at the restaurant.
    • The alcoholic beverages must be in the original, manufacturer-sealed container.
    • All distilled spirits served in a manufacturer-sealed container that is 375 milliliters or less.

    You cannot sell for curbside, to-go, nor deliver the following;

    • Pre-mixed cocktails
    • Growlers or crowlers

    Restaurants can mix, seal, sell, and deliver their own non-alcoholic mixed drinks (such as margarita mix, tonic, limes, fruit juices, etc…). Several restaurants are selling mixed drink kits, where you include a bottle or two of mix and sealed bottle of alcohol.

    Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit (BG)

    There is a category of restaurants that hold a Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit (BG) or a Retail Dealer’s On-Premise License (BE) and they may sell the following for curbside, to-go, or delivery:

    • Wine or beer
    • Growlers or crowlers
    • Wine or beer-based mixed alcoholic beverages. These items must be in sealed containers (the beverage may be mixed and sealed by the restaurant) and must be permitted for sale under that business’ license or permit. (These include the drive-through margarita places, etc.)
    Read More TRA & TABC Guidelines

    Employee Questions

    More than 100 people joined us on this incredibly informative webinar with two lawyers from JacksonLewis, one of the TRA Law Center partners. In this hour-long presentation they break down so many of the common questions we’ve been asked recently, including:

    • Can I ask my employee about symptoms?
    • Can I take my employee’s temperature before they start work?
    • How does the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act affect my business?

    View the recorded webinar below, and be sure to check out JacksonLewis’ COVID-19 resource page for daily updated information.

    Watch the Recorded Webinar

    Small Business Disaster Loans From SBA

    Texas small businesses who believe they may be eligible for an SBA EIDL should visit www.sba.gov/disaster  where they can directly apply for assistance. The online application is the fastest method to receive a decision about loan eligibility.

    Additionally, TRA is hosting a webinar with SBA on Tuesday, March 24 at 2:00 pm central to answer all your questions.

    Sign Up for SBA Webinar

    Resources and Reading

    Contact Us

    We are pushing additional info and resources out via our members-only mobile app. If you want the latest information when it happens, download and register for the app now.

    If you have a question, call our main number and you will be routed to whomever is on call. We’re here for you. 512.457.4100.



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