UPDATES & FAQ'S
On 31 December 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei province of the People's Republic of China. On 9 January 2020, Chinese authorities reported that the cause of this viral pneumonia was initially identified as a new coronavirus, which is different from any other human coronavirus discovered so far. The disease has subsequently been named as COVID-19.
Following the advice provided by the Emergency Committee convened under the International Health Regulations (IHR (2005)), on 30 January 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and issued a set of Temporary Recommendations.
WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to understand this new virus, to track its spread and virulence, and to provide advice to countries and the global community on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued two electronic bulletins and a State letter to highlight ICAO's role in providing aviation-related information on COVID-19, and in serving as the key facilitator for States and organizations that are members of the ICAO Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) programme to implement effective collaboration and coordination with all stakeholders. ICAO is also working with governments and industry partners, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airport Council International (ACI), to provide guidance to aviation authorities, airlines and airports on appropriate measures aimed to protect the health of the travelling public and reduce the risk of transmission.
ICAO and WHO remind all stakeholders of the importance of following existing regulations and guidance, particularly the relevant standards contained within the various Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and the International Health Regulations (2005). Cross-sector collaboration at the national level is also important, and in this regard, States are reminded to coordinate between aviation and health authorities and to establish National Facilitation Committees that comprise all relevant groups, in line with ICAO guidelines.
WHO has advised countries to institute public health measures proportionate to the public health risks and consistent with the International Health Regulations (IHR (2005)). WHO has also underlined the importance of travellers' awareness in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
Building from past experiences with communicable disease outbreaks, WHO, ICAO and aviation industry organizations have developed extensive guidelines, toolkits and response plans to support governments, passengers, and the aviation industry in mitigating risks.
Intense international cooperation and coordination, between governments and other agencies as well as between the public and private sectors, is on-going and should be strengthened as needed going forward.
One word to summarize how the hospitality industry is impacted by COVID-19 - Devastating. It’s no secret that hospitality represents a ton of jobs in the US economy. Whether it be tourism, corporate events and/or lodging, or even Americans who rely on specific hotels for their main housing, the necessary guidelines set forth by the administration have literally created several challenges for the industry. According to American Hotel Lodging Association (AHLA), they have estimated that 3.5 million hospitality workers have been laid off. They’re anticipating this number to climb to 5.2 million hospitality workers while this country takes the necessary steps to flatten the curve. For many of our hospitality clients, we have been engaging heavily with them and are pleased to report no one we know personally is fearing a permanent shut-down, but that cannot be said for the rest of the industry. A majority of our hoteliers we work with between TX, OH, IL, PA, MD, CT, NJ, and NY, most of them have been extremely busy with all the disaster relief loan applications along with the Payment Protection Program (PPP) applications.
Day by day, the strategy is becoming more clear on how to weather the COVID-19 storm. With an anticipated decline in occupancy across our country, most hoteliers we work with have been communicating with their banks and are in a position to defer their mortgage payments. In some cases, we’re seeing the average deferred allowance is approximately 6 months. Shortly after that, hospitality owners are either furloughing their employees with no set date of returning, or letting folks go. We applaud everyone in the hospitality industry that is finding a way to reduce payroll overhead without letting their staff go because all studies indicate that it’s financially easier to recover from this pandemic crisis with your current team in place versus going back to the drawing board and hiring brand new people when the economy gets back up and running again. Once again, we understand it’s no easy task to weather this storm with your employees still onboard, but for those hoteliers that can do it, we salute you! Outside of that, identifying areas on where you can save overhead during the pandemic are the next steps.
For energy, we know that a majority of the utilities out there across the country are allowing for deferred payments. Utilities all have plenty of resources on their website going over the specific plans they are putting in place. The common strategy we’re seeing at the moment is hoteliers should connect with their local utility and pay what they can. In the event they cannot and need to defer payments, utilities are waiving all late fees, and will avoid sending disconnection notices for those who go a couple months without pay. For more information on your utility specifically, we encourage you to check out their website (links below), or feel free to contact us directly while we help you navigate your utility overhead during this crisis.
For more statistics on the hospitality industry by state, we encourage you to click on the following link: https://www.ahla.com/statefacts. In fact, AHLA seems to be the one of the best resources when it comes to the hospitality industry. Between videos from CEOs from all the major brands, hospitality industry statistics, and links to all the relief out there, AHLA is hands down at the forefront of providing the best hospitality insight and most appropriate steps a hotelier can take while they weather this storm. AHLA has every possible resource at your disposal. Hence, we highly encourage you to connect with them and leverage their resources while you navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Lastly, we’d like to extend a huge appreciation to executives like Chip Rogers of AHLA who has been a great hospitality advocate during the crisis.
FOR MORE INFORMATION,
CLICK ON ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
- If you’re currently with a default utility rate, call us immediately to start saving you anywhere from 10% - 22% on your supply portion of your rate. For some hotels, this can mean $100’s - $1,000’s in savings.
- If you currently are with a third party retail energy supplier, you have two options:
- Depending on your existing contract and its expiration date, you future-date your existing agreement with a lower rate. Market has been very attractive since the end of February, March, and some of April, 2020. Minus the recent cold-front (yes, it was snowing in IL/OH on April 15, 2020), we should see demand decrease with warmer weather on the horizon. Hence, we’re anticipating a VERY busy May - June, 2020, with renewals, and future dates. For more information on this approach, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can Blend & Extend your current agreement to that of a lower rate and see if it makes sense to lower your rate sooner than later, with the intent the supplier has an opportunity to extend the life of your existing agreement. For more information on this approach, feel free to contact us at email@example.com
- If you receive an electric bill that doesn’t look accurate, PLEASE CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY. With heavy research, statistics, and escalation to the utility commission (ie: Illinois’ Illinois Commerce Commission, Ohio’s Public Utility Commission of Ohio, etc), we were able to identify that estimate reads from 2018 are being used for some hotels since the utilities don’t have utility workers out in the field conducting manual reads. It’s not easy, but we can build a case, and our confidence is high in coming up with a resolution.