A year like … well, you know. Like 1968, 1945, 1918 and so many other landmark years, we won’t have to work hard to remember, in the decades to come, what year COVID-19 struck. It was in 2020 — a year to remember, whether you like it or not. An Easter like no other. A summer like no other. A World Series like no other. A year like no other. The description “a _____ like no other” wasn’t invented in 2020. It has been used for more than a century:” It has been a year like no other,” wrote R.M. Squires, summing up the world of dentistry in 1919. But the phrase was worn to a nubbin over the past nine months by journalists lunging to convey in a handy three-word code the baked-in strangeness and continuous turmoil we’ve been enduring. A branded logo to rubber-stamp this slow-motion train wreck: COVID-19 pandemic meets civic unrest meets economic disruption. Our locked-down society of shuttered schools and struggling restaurants, all playing out against a political clown show that veers from farcical to frightening, sometimes within the same hour. A presidential election like no other. A Thanksgiving like no other.
What’s in the Stimulus Package for Small Businesses
PPP loans and cultural grants. Finally! Congress took its time, and President Donald Trump held it up, but a new stimulus package was finally signed into law on Sunday night. Fortunately, it contains some help for small-business owners and the self-employed. Below are details of small-business provisions of the new stimulus package and as importantly: What you should do immediately to take advantage of these programs. Keep in mind that this information is based on the legislation. Regulations and details are yet to come out from the government agencies that administer the programs, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department. Here’s very good news. Congress passed $284 billion for another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Restaurants Adapt to the New Normal
20 ways dining out may change in 2021 and beyond. What will restaurants be like in the years to come? How will the often-devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic (among other factors) alter the way we dine out? What can we expect from the places we eat or dine – whether the local burger joint or the Michelin-starred establishment helmed by a celebrity chef – in 2021 and beyond? The restaurant industry constantly evolves, responding to changing consumer tastes, social pressures, and new rules and regulations, often adopting new technologies meant to improve diner experience or bring new tools to business management. Data and consulting firms and foodservice trade publications regularly track trends, predicting forthcoming developments ranging from new menu ideas to high-tech innovations to the effects of demographic shifts on workforce and customer base alike. Here is a list of 20 ways restaurants are likely to change (or have already changed) in the months and years to come.
33 More Pennsylvania Restaurants Ordered to Close
For not following Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 orders. More Pennsylvania restaurants are getting dinged for defying Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation orders. As part of its latest round of inspections, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced it has ordered 33 restaurants to close for allowing patrons to eat indoors. The inspections took place Dec. 21-27. Under the governor’s latest mandate, restaurants are not permitted to serve patrons indoors for three weeks ending Jan. 4. In addition, restaurants must continue to follow rules requiring employees to wear masks, while they offer carryout and takeout and serve diners outdoors. Restaurants that continue to defy the closing orders and operate in any manner, according to the Department of Agriculture will be referred to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for further legal action.
67 Popular N.J. Restaurants That Closed in 2020
Many due to COVID-19. The restaurant industry is notoriously tough, with razor-thin profit margins and unpredictable customer bases. But 2020 was a year unlike any other for food and dining, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating restrictions for restaurants and quelling business in a way that crippled the industry. Countless restaurants throughout the United States closed because of the coronavirus economic crunch, and New Jersey was not spared. Many cherished eateries, diners, delis, bistros and even chains closed in the Garden State in 2020. Some closed for reasons other than the pandemic. Here is a list of some of the most beloved and significant restaurants to close in 2020, for coronavirus-related reasons or otherwise.
Many NJ Restaurants ‘on the Brink of Closing
Amid COVID-19. Across NJ, eateries are searching for creative ways to survive the winter months amid COVID-19 and asking – even pleading – for help. The Instagram post, from the CEO of the Ani Ramen group of restaurants in North Jersey, earned many reposts and comments when restaurant owner Luck Sarabhayavanija posted it on Dec. 7: “We are severely underestimating the number of restaurants that are on the brink of closing. The majority are in grave and imminent danger. If you can afford to, get takeout, buy gift cards.” He’s not alone in his concerns, or in his effort to find creative ways to get people to support local businesses. With New Jersey gripped by the second wave of coronavirus, and the temperatures for outdoor dining dropping — not to mention an expected business slowdown after the holidays — restaurants are gearing up to brave January through March and hoping they’ll get help.
Will San Francisco, New York and Other Big Cities Recover from COVID-19?
What a post-vaccine city could look like. Rory Cox shudders each time he steps outside the doors of his YuBalance fitness studio. “It’s a damn ghost town,” said Cox, 37, whose three studios have seen an 80% decline in business since the novel coronavirus hit in March. “My number one marketing tool is people walking by. If they’re not out there, you lose.” Cox, like many of those he represents as founder of the San Francisco Small Business Alliance, loves this iconic and iconoclastic city, a place where tech start-ups have brought both great riches and staggering inequality. But if San Francisco, which this week joined much of California in a mandatory three-week lockdown, isn’t able to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, he, along with his wife, Shala, and their 5-year-old son, may pack up and head to a small Virginia town where his mother lives and start over. With the COVID-19 vaccine beginning to roll out, how the biggest cities in the United States — economic engines and cultural cauldrons such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami — return from the deadliest global health crisis in a century may in some ways foreshadow how the United States bounces back.
Before They Closed
Restaurants opened doors for us. The last time I set foot inside a restaurant was Wednesday, March 11. I sat alone at a narrow counter in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and ate hot, gilded pupusas off a paper plate, spooning curtido — cabbage and carrots stung by chiles and vinegar — out of a communal jar. From where I live, the subway ride took me an hour and a half each way, longer than the meal itself, but it was worth it. The next day the mayor declared a state of emergency. Within a week, the governor had ordered restaurants to close, allowing only takeout and delivery. News came that a chef I’d talked with a month before had died of the virus. By the end of April, close to six million restaurant workers across the country had lost their jobs, about half the industry’s employees and more than a quarter of all Americans who had lost work. To date more than 110,000 restaurants, one out of every six in the country, have closed, and more than two million jobs have not yet been recovered.
DJ with no income refers to a life ‘in limbo’ during pandemic. For more than 20 years, Huguenot resident Louis Cooper, 59, has been a DJ and co-owner of A Touch of Class, which would provide music, photography and entertainment for hundreds of events — from weddings and bar mitzvahs, to Sweet 16s and corporate affairs — each year. But in March, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shuttered the globe, Cooper and his business partner, Sherry Cohen, had to reschedule all the clients they had booked. “We are down about $100,000 [in revenue],” said Cooper, who noted that his two children also work for the company. “And we have about 60 brides we have to place [for new dates for their weddings] between 2021 and 2022. …Everything is in limbo. Catering halls are giving clients new dates, and they’ve been changed two and three times.”
Did You Know?
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on the way we eat. As the US was hit by several COVID-19 lockdowns over the year, people adjusted their eating habits. Americans dined out less, and to make up for this they ordered more takeout. They cooked at home more, too. This is reflected in Kroger’s list of the top 10 trending foods and beverages of 2020, which the grocer giant says shows how Americans embraced cooking and eating at home as part of their new routine. Sales of coffee, fresh deli meat, and artisan bread soared as more people ate breakfast and lunch at home while working or attending school remotely, Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s chief merchant, said. As restaurants closed, people bought more fresh ground beef, premium buns, and shredded cheese to recreate restaurant-style burgers at home.
Second stimulus check update: You could get your $600 payment very soon. You may see your $600 coronavirus stimulus payments in your bank accounts as soon as late Tuesday even as President Donald Trump and Congress discuss giving you a bigger check. The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the payments will begin going out Tuesday evening and continue into next week. Direct deposits will go out shortly while paper checks will be mailed Wednesday. “These payments are an integral part of our commitment to providing vital additional economic relief to the American people during this unprecedented time,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. The payments will be distributed automatically, and if Congress raises the amount to $2,000, the additional funds will be handed out as soon as possible. ‘
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Now we say goodbye to 2020 and leave you with this New Year’s poem by Robert Service (1874-1957)
The Passing of the Year
My glass is filled, my pipe is lit, my den is all a cozy glow; and snug before the fire I sit, and wait to feel the old year go. I dedicate to solemn thought amid my too-unthinking days, this sober moment, sadly fraught with much of blame, with little praise.
Old Year! upon the Stage of Time you stand to bow your last adieu; a moment, and the prompter’s chime will ring the curtain down on you. Your mien is sad, your step is slow; you falter as a Sage in pain; yet turn, Old Year, before you go, and face your audience again.
That sphinx like face, remote, austere, let us all read, whate’er the cost: O Maiden! why that bitter tear? Is it for dear one you have lost? Is it for fond illusion gone? For trusted lover proved untrue? O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan; what hath the Old Year meant to you?
And you, O neighbor on my right so sleek, so prosperously clad! What see you in that aged wight that makes your smile so gay and glad? What opportunity unmissed? What golden gain, what pride of place? What splendid hope? O Optimist! What read you in that withered face?
And You, deep shrinking in the gloom, what find you in that filmy gaze? What menace of a tragic doom? What dark, condemning yesterdays? What urge to crime, what evil done? What cold, confronting shape of fear? O haggard, haunted, hidden One what see you in the dying year?
And so from face to face I flit, the countless eyes that stare and stare; some are with approbation lit, and some are shadowed with despair. Some show a smile and some a frown; some joy and hope, some pain and woe: Enough! Oh, ring the curtain down! Old weary year! it’s time to go.
My pipe is out, my glass is dry; My fire is almost ashes too; But once again, before you go, And I prepare to meet the New: Old Year! a parting word that’s true, for we’ve been comrades, you and I –I thank God for each day of you; There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!