Alaska CHARR - The Magazine September/October - Page 7

WELCOME RECOVERY BY SARAH OATES | ALASKA CHARR PRESIDENT & CEO It goes without saying that the hospitality industry has endured much over the last six months. Many of you have been forced to be closed for at least a full fiscal quarter, or possibly for the entire 2020 year, due to emergency mandates and lack of tourism. Most on-premises locations who are currently open are still experiencing year-over-year losses of over 50%. No matter where you fall within the spectrum of reopening, you have certainly modified your operations and/or business model in some way, and you will almost certainly need help on this inevitably long road of recovery. “ TOGETHER As we enter the fall months, my top priority continues to be focusing efforts on obtaining financial aid and relief for hospitality businesses and their employees. I will continue to work directly with Governor Dunleavy, his team, and the legislature to amend the original eligibility requirements so that STRONG, our businesses may gain access to the $290 million in AK CARES Act RECOVER. grant funds. I will also continue to work with Congress and our partners at the National Restaurant Association to advocate for the appropriation of additional federal dollars for hospitality. The processes have been painfully slow and arduous, but government leaders are listening, and they do want to help. I am hopeful that hospitality businesses may say those dollars before it is too late. – NOW AND ALWAYS – WE ARE ALASKA AND WE WILL You need money, and you need it soon. But we also need to explore other options. Our team hosts regular industry calls – sometimes once per week, and sometimes every other week – where we bring information to you and we ask for your input. We send out emails at least twice per week (Note: if you are not receiving our emails but would like to, please email info@alaskacharr.com to be added). And now we need to hear back from you. Many legislators, local government officials, and members of the governor’s office have asked me for suggestions for other ways in which they can help our industry. They see the damage and the need, and as our elected leaders, our patrons, and our friends, they want to help us. We need to bring them innovative ideas that can help you in any way possible – no matter how small or crazy they may seem. “ Our staff is hard working and creative, but we are not the ones owning and running your businesses or working the front lines. I can talk with government officials until I am blue in the face, but it is your impactful stories and inventive ideas that will help officials act in meaningful, impactful ways. Should waiving liquor license fees for one renewal season be a priority? Would restaurants like to see a cap on the fees that third-party delivery companies charge? Help us best help you. Please tune into our industry calls and/or email us at info@alaskacharr.com with any ideas that you’d like to see fleshed out. By the time this magazine reaches our readers, CHARR will have rolled out some new member benefits that will put cash back into your pockets in the coming months, and provide you with massive discounts on items that are necessary to run many of your businesses during normal operations, and throughout this pandemic. For more information on how to obtain these benefits, visit our website or contact our Membership & Gaming Manager, Rory McAllister, at: rmcallister@alaskacharr.com Together – now and always – we are Alaska Strong, and we will Recover. SARAH OATES, ALASKA CHARR PRESIDENT & CEO Letter from the President ALASKA CHARR MAGAZINE | 5