We continue to gather and share as much relevant information as we can with members to help navigate through these troubled days, and position best for whatever may lie ahead.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) Program Update
While many hotel and hospitality businesses took advantage of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) resulting from the 2020 CARES Act, many businesses have not followed up with an additional tax credit, the ERC, which allows for an employee tax credit resulting from any single quarter revenue being only 20% lower than its corresponding period in 2019.
There has been a lot of confusion around this program, including eligibility and program expiration date. Bottom line is most businesses are eligible, and there is plenty of time to apply.
ELFA has partnered with ERC Today to assist in both determining eligibility and streamlining the application process. If your business experienced a drop of 20% or more for any single quarter in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019, and you had wage earning employees on staff at the time and filed IRS form 941, you may very well qualify for this payroll tax credit.
Please visit this special link established for ELFA members to inquire and apply today while funding for this program still remains.
Supply Chain Issues?
Supply chain disruptions in the purchase of branded and other required guest products and amenities continues to plague the industry. Choice Hotels leadership is very aware of these issues, and is working to help assist franchisees who are experiencing these setbacks and delays when ordering.
Please reach out to your dedicated Area Manager, and ELFA, to inform them of any challenges you are experiencing in this area. The Choice Franchise Services team is working with and relaying information to procurement and the QAR team, alerting them to potential problems as they occur. Please help both yourself and other franchisees by sharing these issues regularly and freely.
LRA Inspections Expand to Brand Standard Compliance Beginning January 1st
Starting in 2022, Quality Assurance reviews and LRA inspections will begin including brand standard compliance in all areas towards property scoring. Since the onset of Covid, Choice has allowed this area of compliance to take a back seat to cleanliness and condition considering the economic challenges related to the pandemic. However, with travel and spending having surged back, often to pre-pandemic levels, this element of operations will resume its presence in property inspections.
Cleanliness remains a highest priority in scoring and property expectations. It is the number one area mentioned in guest feedback. Compliance with the Commitment to Clean program, along with certifications, will continue to play a significant role in inspections in the coming year and beyond.
We understand that many properties have faced significant challenges in each of these areas both with issues involving labor, along with the additional wear and tear that has accompanied additional business and shifts in our guest makeup. We urge you to take any and all steps to bridge gaps in either of these areas that may be facing your property after this difficult period.
If you are experiencing issues with procurement or shipping / order delays for critical products, we also ask that you please relay this information without delay to your Choice Area Manager so that they can relay this information on to procurement and the QAR team.
CrowdStrike Non-Compliance Penalties Are Being Assessed
Choice Hotels is issuing $150 monthly fees for properties not in compliance with the CrowdStrike software mandate for all front desk computers.
If you are seeing this fee levied on your monthly invoice, please take steps immediately to resolve. Search your GM Inbox for the original CrowdStrike “Welcome / Installation” e-mail from 2020 and follow the installation instructions. If you cannot locate this e-mail, you can send an e-mail of your own to falcon-complete@Crowdstrike.com and request a re-send.
Installation is mandated for all front desk computers and those accessing ChoiceAdvantage. It takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish for the installation process.
Are You Hearing Regularly from ELFA?
ELFA sends out e-mails regularly to its Econo Lodge franchisee members with important brand updates and notices on a wide variety of pressing operational matters. While we do not overload with e-mails, we at least reach out once per month.
If you are not receiving e-mails or correspondences from ELFA in this fashion, please reach out to us and let us know so that we can update your contact information. Please include your property code so we can best update and ensure delivery.