In Ward 2 and beyond, our restaurants, bars, and hotels serve us daily, employ our residents, and drive our District economy. Ward 2 has more hospitality establishments than any other Ward in the District, and preserving the viability of our restaurants, bars, and hotels through and beyond COVID-19 must be a top priority for Ward 2 leadership. 

As Councilmember, I will work creatively to ensure that our local hospitality industry is supported through the challenges of COVID-19 to come out strong on the other side. I am proud to have been the early leader of the adoption of strEATeries in Ward 2 to provide additional outdoor dining space for patrons and workers as well as expanded sidewalks to allow people to better socially distance in commercial corridors. As Councilmember, I will ensure that innovations like these become permanent and enact additional solutions to keep our hospitality industry strong and resilient.

As Councilmember, I will:
  • Support and expand grants to small businesses during and beyond the pandemic.
  • Place a moratorium on certain permit fees and requirements until the District is through the pandemic and its immediate effects.
  • Streamline overcomplicated permitting processes and requirements.
  • Provide extensions on deadlines for payment of certain taxes such as sales taxes, eliminate late fee penalties, and allow payments in installments for small businesses.
As Councilmember, I will:
  • Expand strEATeries, parklets, and patios for outdoor dining and make these spaces permanent, including by expediting the process for permits and eliminating unnecessary insurance barriers to expanded outdoor dining.
  • Partner with hospitality stakeholders to develop workable solutions for outdoor all-season dining, including through the use of tents and health conscience  heating sources, and expedite the permitting process and forgo fees for these solutions.
  • Explore making permanent the option for restaurants, bars, and hotels to include alcoholic beverages on their takeout menus as long as they follow reasonable regulations for the safe sale of alcohol.
  • Implement a “tax-free weekend” applicable to restaurants, bars, and hotels to draw visitors to District hospitality businesses when it’s safe.
  • Partner with hotels to identify alternate and safe revenue-generating uses for their facilities during and immediately following the pandemic, including those that can help the recovery effort.
  • Ensure interested hotels can easily, quickly and legally convert to other uses for which there is demand, such as longer-term stays and work space.
As Councilmember, I will:
  • Provide opportunities for businesses to expand their customer base through promotion programs that inform residents and visitors of small, local, minority- and LGBTQ-owned businesses.
  • Help businesses expand their own foundations in marketing and innovation through grant and technical assistance programs, in partnership with universities and nonprofits, that allow small, local, minority- and LGBTQ-owned businesses to learn new skills to aid them in attracting and maintaining customer bases.
  • Invest in and support locally developed small business infrastructure, such as locally run delivery platforms that are more affordable and trustworthy for small and local business owners.
  • Work in partnership with the hospitality industry to develop and sustain new, world-class events and attractions that bring visitors to Ward 2 and DC once it is safe to welcome them.

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