The Senate voted to extend the window for businesses to apply for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program

The Senate voted to extend the window for businesses to apply for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program on Tuesday night,(June 30) just before the Small Business Administration closed applications. The measure was approved unanimously and now heads to the House. If approved by the lower chamber and signed into law by President Trump, the bill would extend PPP applications to August 8. The loan program currently has about $130 billion in unused funding left.

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

Wendy’s Partners with PA VFW for a Sweet Fundraiser to Help Pennsylvania’s Military Families and Veterans

For just $1, customers at participating Wendy’s® restaurants located throughout the west/central region of Pennsylvania can receive Free Jr. Frosty® desserts from mid-June through December 31, 2020 while supporting local military families and veterans facing hardship through “The Michael J. Beaver Wendy’s – Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars Military Assistance and Veterans Grant Program.”

From June 15 through August 31 (or while supplies last), customers can purchase a Frosty card for $1 at participating Wendy’s in the Johnstown/Altoona/State College area. By showing the card on subsequent visits to Wendy’s, customers will receive a Free Jr. Frosty (with any purchase) as often as they wish through December 31. So far, the nine-year campaign has raised more than $291,746 for military families and veterans.

All of the proceeds from the $1 Frosty card sales will be donated to the Department of Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars State Headquarters, which will distribute the funds to assist needy local military families and veterans in western/central Pennsylvania where campaign dollars are raised. The Pennsylvania National Guard’s Military Family Program Office and other military sources will participate in the program by helping the VFW State HQ identify military families who are experiencing difficult situations.

Campaign areas include Somerset (Somerset county), Johnstown, Ebensburg (Cambria county), Altoona, Duncansville (Blair county), Bedford (Bedford county), Clarion (Clarion county), Indiana (Indiana county), Punxsutawney (Jefferson county), DuBois (Clearfield county), St. Marys (Elk county), State College and Bellefonte (Centre county) and Huntingdon (Huntingdon county).   

“The VFW is proud to once again partner with Wendy’s and their customers to provide life-changing grants to military families and veterans facing financial hardship,” said VFW State Commander Ronald J. Peters, a Vietnam War veteran. “Through the efforts of Wendy’s restaurants and their customers, the campaign has assisted local military families and veterans who need help with affording the basics of daily living.  The VFW comments the participating Wendy’s franchisees and their employees because serving and supporting our troops and veterans—including our veteran brothers and sisters in the PA Guard—are top priorities for the VFW. With each grant, our partnership with Wendy’s returns the favor to those who protect our freedom so they can recover from financial emergencies.”

“Dave Thomas believed that giving back and supporting our community is everyone’s responsibility,” said Joe Hundley, president of Wendy’s Johnstown/Altoona Co-op. “Wendy’s is involved in thousands of local events each year that lend a hand to those in need. This Frosty card fundraiser is one way of giving back to the local community where we live and work. It is especially meaningful to help many families of those who sacrifice much to defend our freedom and to whom we owe so much!”

Military personnel from all branches are eligible for the grants. Requests must come through either a military family support office or a superior officer. To receive a grant application military family assistance coordinators and ranking officers should contact VFW State HQ in Harrisburg at (717) 234-7927 or [email protected].

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Issues Guidance to Licensees Regarding Operations in the Green Phase of COVID-19 Recovery

Harrisburg – Supplementing guidance issued by Governor Tom Wolf for businesses in the restaurant industry, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today issued additional information for licensees operating in counties that have transitioned into the green phase of COVID-19 recovery and reopening, informing them of permissible and impermissible activities.

The PLCB guidance for licensees in green counties is summarized below.

  • Indoor seating in green counties is allowed but not required for restaurant, retail dispenser and hotel licensees. Seating is limited to the lesser of 50% of the stated fire capacity or 12 people per 1,000 square feet. 
  • If a restaurant, retail dispenser and hotel licensee chooses to provide seating for on-premises consumption of alcohol, then they must also provide for on-premises consumption of food, and all other directives in the Governor’s office guidance (six feet or a barrier between patrons, no standing at a bar, dining parties limited to four or fewer customers with a common relationship, etc.) must be followed. 
  • Outside seating in both licensed and unlicensed locations is permitted. The same restrictions imposed on indoor seating apply to outdoor seating as well. 
  • If the outside area of a restaurant, retail dispenser and hotel licensees is licensed, then the service of food and alcohol there is permitted. If the outside area is not licensed, then service of food is permitted, but the service of alcohol there is not permitted. However, 
    • Patrons may purchase up to 192 ounces of beer to go on the licensed premises, then carry it to and consume it on the unlicensed service area.  
    • If the licensee holds a wine expanded permit, then patrons may also purchase up to 3 liters of wine on the licensed premises, then consume it on the unlicensed service area. 
    • If the licensee qualifies to sell prepared beverages and mixed drinks to go, then a patron may purchase a prepared beverage and mixed drink of between 4 and 64 ounces in a closed container on the licensed premises, open the container once they leave the licensed premises, and consume it on the unlicensed service area.  
  • Holders of club and catering club licenses may allow members to be served on the licensed premises but must follow the same social distancing rules that apply to restaurants. Clubs and catering clubs cannot sell any alcohol for off-premises consumption.
  • Manufacturers such as breweries, limited wineries, distilleries, and limited distilleries may also offer food and drink for on-premises consumption, following the same rules as restaurants.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates nearly 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling nearly $18.5 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit lcb.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Brassell, 717-919-1905
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Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Temporarily Expedites Extensions of Licensed Premises for Additional Outdoor Serving Areas

Harrisburg – Supplementing guidance issued by Governor Tom Wolf for businesses in the restaurant industry and to facilitate outdoor dining and service, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today announced an expedited approval process for licensees wishing to temporarily extend their licensed premises to include additional outdoor areas. The service or sale of alcoholic beverages in unlicensed areas is illegal, so licensees looking to serve or sell alcoholic beverages in a currently unlicensed outdoor area must apply to the PLCB for an extension of their licensed premises. Adoption of this temporary expedited application process will immediately grant authority to serve at previously unlicensed outdoor areas, waiving both application fees and the minimum 30-day waiting period typically required before an extension of licensed premises could be approved. The guidance issued today by the PLCB regarding these temporary procedures is summarized below. Emergency temporary authority for outside areas may be requested by clubs, catering clubs, restaurants, retail dispensers, hotels, distilleries, limited distilleries, wineries, limited wineries, and breweries. Licensees that wish to apply for a temporary extension of the licensed premises to include outside serving areas, with this extension expiring at the end of the current public health emergency, may do so without paying the $220 filing fee. The application for temporary extension of premises to include an outdoor seating area will require the submission of a plan, and if the area to be licensed is an area not under the applicant’s control – such as a municipal sidewalk – then proof that the applicant has the right to occupy the location must be provided. A licensee may only submit an application for an outdoor area immediately adjacent to, abutting and contiguous to the existing licensed premises. Applications for locations not meeting these criteria will be rejected, and no temporary extensions are allowed for any locations separated from a licensed premises by a public thoroughfare. Upon submission of the application, the licensee will see a confirmation screen that the application was successfully submitted for processing. The licensee must print this confirmation page and display it as evidence the application was received, and at that point, the licensee will automatically have temporary authority to operate on the proposed outdoor area. Licensees that do not wish to extend the licensed premises to serve and sell alcohol but will merely allow customers to congregate on an unlicensed portion of the premises are reminded they must still adhere to the Governor’s guidelines on social distancing. Any licensee that fails to comply with this guidance risks citation by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates nearly 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling nearly $18.5 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit lcb.pa.gov. MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Brassell, 717-919-1905

A Message From the VFW Dept. of PA Women Veterans Chairperson

Dear Comrades,

I just had a lengthy and agonizing conversation with the Pennsylvania VFW State Officers.

I regret to inform you that we must cancel the Women Veteran’s Retreat that we rescheduled to July 31-August 2, 2020.

While certainly disappointing news, the Officers determined, and I agree, that the health, safety and well-being of our Veterans is our top priority, and we should not have this event in these uncertain times of the Covid-19 Virus.

In addition, our PA VFW Convention and the National VFW Convention have been canceled, and our program needs to follow these guidelines set forth by the higher offices.

Care Package Items collected and already donated to the “Operation Courage is Beautiful” will be forwarded to our female troops.

If you require assistance with any items you have, please contact me.

I have been asked to chair the Retreat in 2021, which I humbly accepted.

I will be in contact with you later this fall with information about the 2021 Retreat.

Your registration fee and paint class fee (if applicable) will be refunded.

Please be patient, as the refund comes from our VFW HQ, which is currently operating with very limited staff.

Best Wishes, Stay Safe and I hope to see you at future events.

Amy MacKenzie

VFW Dept. of PA Women Veterans Chairperson

VFW Kicks Off Annual Youth Scholarship Competitions

VFW Kicks Off Annual Youth Scholarship Competitions More than $3 million in scholarships and awards are presented each year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 28, 2020) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is now accepting entries for its 2020-21 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just weeks after the VFW’s 2020 Legislative Conference concluded in Washington, D.C., where the top national winners of both contests were recognized.

Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions help foster patriotism among today’s youth. The programs also promote friendly competition and reward success with more than $3 million in scholarships.

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition, with the theme “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?” is open to all students in grades 9-12. Each state winner competes for the top national $30,000 scholarship prize. More than 51,000 students competed in last year’s competition. Shruthi Kumar, sponsored by VFW Post 1581 in Omaha, Nebraska, was the 2020 national Voice of Democracy winner. Listen to her deliver her award-winning essay.

Students in grades 6-8 can complete in the Patriot’s Pen competition by answering this year’s theme, “What is Patriotism to Me?” Entrants vie for the top award of $5,000. Ruby Howe, sponsored by VFW Post 334 in Lake Orion, Michigan, took home the 2020 Patriot’s Pen first place prize among more than 138,000 student entries. Listen to her award-winning entry here.

Student entries, accompanied with a completed entry form, must be submitted to a local participating VFW Post. The deadline for both contests is Oct. 31, 2020.

Find your local VFW Post, or read more about the competitions.

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About the VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation’s largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally-chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With more than 1.6 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in over 6,000 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at vfw.org.

Media Contact: Randi K. Law, communications manager, [email protected]

Press Release From PLCB Regarding Closure

03/18/2020

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Provides Guidance to Licensees on Mandate to Cease Dine-In Service and On-Premises Consumption or Risk Citation, License Suspension, and Forceable Closure

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board today announced exercise of its authority, with authorization from the Governor, to mandate that all retail licensees, clubs, permittees, and producers must cease the sale of food and alcohol for on-premises consumption, effective at 8:00 PM today and until further notice, in the interest of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and mitigating the unprecedented public health crisis the commonwealth faces.
Any licensee that fails to comply with this mandate now risks citation by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and suspension of operating authority by the PLCB. Any licensee that continues to operate after its license is suspended risks further enforcement action and closure by the BLCE. Ultimately, citations may put the business’s liquor license at risk, both through the citation process and upon application for renewal to the PLCB.
“Medical experts and public health professionals from around the world agree the best step we can take to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to stop gathering in public spaces,” said Board Chairman Tim Holden. “Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and this decision is not made lightly. But saving lives and protecting the health and safety of our communities is our highest priority right now.”
The PLCB, upon authorization from the Governor, has the authority under the Liquor Code (47 P.S. §4-462) to mandate the closure of licensed establishments in times of emergency.
Impacts of this mandate on specific license types, effective March 18, 2020, at 8 p.m., are as follows:

  • Restaurant, retail dispenser and hotel licensees may not allow the service or consumption of food or alcohol on the licensed premises.  Sales to go are still permitted, as are hotel sales of food and alcohol for consumption in a private room.
  • Licensees holding wine expanded permits authorizing the sale of wine to go may not allow the service or consumption of food or alcohol on the licensed premises. Sales to go are still permitted, as are the operation of a grocery store, convenience store or gas station next to the licensed premises.
  • Airport restaurant license holders may not allow the service or consumption of food or alcohol on the licensed premises.  Sales to go are still permitted.
  • Clubs and catering clubs may not allow the service or consumption of food or alcohol on the licensed premises, and such licensees are not authorized to sell any alcohol to go. They may continue selling food to go.
  • Permittees including special occasion, off-premise catering, exposition and farmers markets may not allow the service or consumption of food or alcohol on the licensed premises or at public gatherings.
  • Breweries, distilleries/limited distilleries, and limited wineries may not allow the service or consumption of food or alcohol on the licensed premises. Sales of the producer’s own alcohol for off premises consumption is permitted.
  • Sacramental wine licensees may not allow food or beverage consumption on premise but may sell sacramental wine for consumption off premise.

Additionally, the PLCB has received a number of inquiries as to how beer distributors should react to business closure guidance. As suppliers to grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail licensees permitted to sell beer to go, distributors’ continued operation will preserve beer accessibility for consumers. As such, the PLCB is not limiting distributors’ operations at this time, but beer distributors are strongly encouraged to employ social distancing best practices and avoid public gatherings of 10 or more people.
Complaints regarding licensees not complying with these mandates may be directed to the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement at 1-800-932-0602 or reported through the BLCE’s online complaint form.

The PLCB will constantly re-evaluate this policy, guided by the strategy developed by the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and lift restrictions at the appropriate time.  
The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates nearly 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling nearly $18.5 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit lcb.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
PLCB – Elizabeth Brassell, 717-919-1905
Pennsylvania State Police – Ryan Tarkowski, 717-705-3893
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