Editorial: Governor Murphy Has Destroyed NJ Restaurant and Hospitality Business
From closing to false opening. On March 16th, without warning, Governor Murphy ordered all restaurants, casinos, bars, movie theaters and gyms to close that same evening at 8:00 pm. In line with his handling of this entire pandemic, he gave no advance notice, saddling these businesses with unpaid purveyor bills, payroll liabilities, and various other short-term financial obligations. He kept them shut for nearly 100 days until allowing outdoor dining on June 15th (two weeks after he announced outdoor would be permitted). Following his “not giving you any dates” policy, he announced on June 23rd that restaurants could open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on July 2nd. Business owners began planning, spending money they really did not have, training staff to adhere to the long list of Covid-19 protocols issued by the NJ Department of Health for reopening, purchasing food and supplies, equipping their facilities and staff with PPE, signs, table and counter guards and more. And then two days ago, he changes his mind and rescinds permission for indoor dining, providing no future date for reopening? What is going on…how are these businesses supposed to survive? Read what Congressman Jeff Van Drew has to say about the Governor’s decision.
“This is no longer about safety. This is Governor Murphy forcing businesses to die; businesses that just spent months investing and preparing to open at a time he gave his word to them on. The restaurants placed food orders, bought PPE, hired staff back, and started advertising. How is going to a busy big-box store any safer than a prepared restaurant? To compare us to other states undermines the pain and the work that went in to keeping us at the diminishing virus levels we are currently at. It does not represent any sense of reality in New Jersey. I am completely disgusted and my heart aches for the pain these business owners are feeling after their dreams are being smothered by Governor Murphy’s cruel change of mind.”
Talk About Insult to Injury
NJ restaurant owners miffed that indoor dining has been postponed. Marilou Halvorsen is miffed. The president of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association said she is angry at Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement that indoor dining, which was set to begin this Thursday, will be postponed indefinitely. Murphy explained that he was doing this because he witnessed scenes of overcrowding and little use of face coverings at some New Jersey restaurants. He added that he was concerned about spikes in COVID-19 cases in states that have reopened indoor dining. Halvorsen believes the governor is punishing an entire industry for the behavior of a few bad actors. Instead of dealing with violators through enforcement, you (the governor) take a sledgehammer to a whole industry.
NJ Business Coalition Says
EO unfairly hurts restaurant owners. The New Jersey Business Coalition, a group of more than 100 leading business and nonprofit groups throughout the state, issued the following statement following Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing of Executive Order 158, temporarily pausing the resumption of indoor dining in New Jersey. “New Jersey business owners have said from the beginning of this crisis that they always put the health, safety and welfare of their workforce and their patrons first. The reopening of indoor dining at New Jersey restaurants is no exception. “While we respect the fact that other states are seeing a surge in COVID numbers, such a comparison, along with the concern of so-called “knuckleheads” not following the rules, is simply not a basis to pull back on New Jersey restaurant owners who are committed to doing the right thing.
Restaurants and the New Reallocation Shock for Workers
The collapse in demand may ultimately bankrupt many businesses. Nowhere is that more apparent than at once-bustling restaurant and bars that simply can’t afford to reopen. There are roughly 2.2 million restaurants around the world. The tsunami that just hit them is indescribably painful. It hurts me to think of the places I’ve enjoyed wonderful evenings with friends, in dozens of different countries, that are now probably gone forever. Data from restaurant review app Yelp show that, as of mid-June, some 140,000 US businesses that closed in March are still closed. And about 41% have closed for good. For restaurants, that figure is above 50%.
NY, NJ, CT, Add 8 States to Covid-19 Quarantine Order
Bringing total to 16. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut added travelers from California, Tennessee and six other states to its quarantine list Tuesday morning, pushing the total to 16 states representing 48% of the U.S. population. Travelers from the affected states will now have to isolate for 14 days upon arriving in the three northeastern states, doubling the original list of eight states included in the joint travel advisory issued last week. The order includes residents of one of the three states who travel to a high-COVID area and return home.
Red Bank Outdoor Plaza is a Hit
Should they keep it permanently? After months of empty streets, bustling chatter in the streets is music to the ears of restaurateurs and downtown merchants. Now that restrictions have eased, cities and towns statewide have gotten creative, with many opening pop-up pedestrian plazas to create a safe environment for people to eat, shop and inject some life into hard-hit local economies. Red Bank, however, is going all out. Broad Street is lined with a string of white lights along the sidewalk and overhead. A pianist plays a baby grand piano on the street outside Catch 19, a seafood restaurant. Podcasters Michael Zapcic and Ming Chen set up shop outside Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, Kevin Smith’s comic bookstore, to entertain.
Senate Reaches Deal to Extend Paycheck Protection Program
Hours before it was set to expire. The Senate reached a surprise last-minute deal late Tuesday to extend the small-business Paycheck Protection Program through Aug. 8, passing it just hours before the lending program was set to shut down at midnight. Prospects for the legislation in the House, however, were uncertain. Both chambers are set to adjourn for a two-week recess by week’s end. The short-term agreement came together in behind-the-scenes negotiations involving Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and others.
Did You Know?
Yes, you can travel this summer. But should you? A survey of more than 4,700 Americans from the Pew Research Center, taken from June 16 to 22, found that 40 percent of people believe the worst of the pandemic is over, up from 26 percent in early April. Some are making summer travel plans — despite warnings from public health experts, who predicted it will be much harder to go back to lockdown the second time around. Whether summer travel is safe or even feasible depends on a variety of factors: location, length of trip, transportation methods, and the number of people you encounter and are with during your vacation.
Where’s my stimulus check? 6 reasons you didn’t get it yet. The CARES Act, which promised eligible Americans a stimulus check of up to $1,200, passed three months ago by now – but about 35 million still haven’t seen it arrive. If you’re one of those people, don’t fret. The IRS has provided a portal where you can check in on your payment status. And even if you don’t get the money this year, you will be able to receive it when you file your 2020 tax return next year. But in the meantime, here are six reasons why your payment may be stalling right now.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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A new and exciting update. Keep your eyes open for the release of Bielat Santore & Company’s new E-Book, “100 Days of Darkness,” scheduled to be published within the next two weeks. Once a definite release date is established, you will be able to obtain a copy on the firm’s website, www.123bsc.com.