During this time of COVID-19 we'd like to do our share to help restaurants by providing helpful resources. Restaurants are the backbone of our communities. If you're a restaurant that offers takeout, you can list at Takeout COVID so that customers can find you. If you currently have a gift card program, please list on so that your customers can support.

Coronavirus Updates

FAQs: Small Business Loans Under the CARES Act


Two Trillion Dollar Coronavirus Aid Package


What businesses are eligible?

  • Only small businesses that employ less than 500 employees are eligible for Paycheck Protection Program and SBA Loan Forgiveness. However, restaurants, foodservices, caterers, and hotels that employ not more than 500 employees per physical location of the business are also eligible to receive a single loan if they operate under the North American Industry Classification System code beginning with 72 (Accommodation and Food Services – U.S. Census Bureau).
  • The program enacted by this legislation would remove the “Credit Elsewhere Test,” which requires an extensive analysis to determine whether the borrower has the ability to obtain some, or all, of the requested loan funds from alternative sources, without causing undue hardship. That test could also have required them to utilize those alternative sources – rather than obtain the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – if so.
  • No collateral, or personal guarantee, shall be required for the covered loan.Restaurant entities expressed concerns about the SBA’s existing collateral requirements that could disqualify them from obtaining these loans. The Association successfully requested that the collateral requirements be eliminated.
  • Waives affiliation rules for businesses in the hospitality and restaurant industries, franchises that are approved on the SBA’s Franchise Directory, and small businesses that receive financing through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program.


How can I find out what my state or city is requiring me to change at my restaurant?
The COVID-19 Resources by State document includes information on what is required in every state, city, or county as it relates to restaurants and coronavirus measures such as closing dining rooms, required posters and additional information. This document has been compiled and vetted by ServSafe.
Can the coronavirus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?
According to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

North Carolina State University has created an informational FAQ concerning off-premises foodservice during the coronavirus. At this time, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. The FAQs are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
What food safety measures are restaurants taking?
The foodservice industry follows strict local public health guidelines. To meet these guidelines, restaurants have safety protocols and best practices in place, including guidance from ServSafe. Owners and operators should contact their state and local health departments for the latest advisories/information about coronavirus in their community. The Association also has a fact sheet in English and Spanish with information specific to the industry.
How can I find out if the federal, state, and/or local governments have made changes to how restaurants can operate?
Our Restaurant Law Center, in coordination with our state and local partners, is tracking official orders closing or restricting foodservice establishments in response to COVID-19 and whether the federal or state government is offering unemployment insurance available to those affected by COVID-19.  A document with this information is being updated daily and can be found here.
How can I find out if there is any federal or state government guidance or emergency rule on paid sick, emergency, or safe time leave laws as they relate to COVID-19?
In addition to tracking federal law changes, our Restaurant Law Center, with the help of its Law Firm Partners, has contacted all state paid sick leave enforcement agencies seeking guidance concerning the interaction between COVID-19 and their paid sick and/or safe time (PSST) leave laws.  It has prepared a document providing a brief summary of relevant PSST standards from the federal government and by state that addresses the use of PSST for COVID-19 purposes.  The document is updated daily and found here. Please note that not all states have issued any guidance on this issue.
Are restaurant workers considered essential employees that can be asked to come to work even when there are shelter-in-place Orders?
Yes. Still, more and more states and localities are restraining travel, particularly during certain hours of the day, while restaurant workers need to arrive earlier than the time restrictions to make bread, brew coffee, etc., and stay pass curfew to clean, disinfect, and close the premises. Meanwhile, some restaurant workers are running into issues with law enforcement restricting workers movement to and from work. Thus, the Restaurant Law Center drafted a letter specifically for restaurant brands that an employer can give to an essential employee stating that the holder is an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker” under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines. Thus, the worker should be allowed to continue to or from his place of employment. The letter can be found here. - This is a direct download.
Where can I find information about the new Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses?
The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) have announced that businesses with fewer than 500 employees can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. You can find more information about the program here.
What do I need to know about the CDC guidance on social distancing?
On March 15, the CDC released a guidance for large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States. This guidance does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. However, some states and municipalities are imposing new limitations on restaurant operations.
Where can I find the EPA list of antimicrobial products for use against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2?
On March 3, the EPA released a list of registered disinfectant products that have qualified under its emerging viral pathogen program for use again SARS-CoV-2. You can find the list here.
Where can I find more information about the Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance loans for impacted businesses?
On March 12, the SBA announced that it will work with state governments to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses severely impacted by the outbreak. You can find out more about these loans and how to access them here.
What can we all do?
The CDC suggests that people take the same steps they would to keep from getting the flu: get a flu vaccine, take everyday preventative actions – like washing your hands often – and see a doctor when you are sick.

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have issued guidance for preparing a workplace for COVID-19 that include tips for preventing the spread of the virus and steps to reduce workers’ risk of exposure. And the CDC recently issued a strategy for implementing mitigation strategies for communities with local transmission.
What is the impact to the supply chain?
It is still unknown if or how the coronavirus will impact the foodservice supply chain. Many organizations and researchers are monitoring developments.
Where can we find resources?
To ensure that the foodservice industry can easily access the latest resources from the best sources, we will continue to update this page as new information develops.