Murphy Vetoes Bill Designed to Help Restaurants, Bars
The bill, A-4525, had passed both houses unanimously on Nov. 16. Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday vetoed a bill aimed at ensuring businesses such as restaurants, bars and distilleries can expand outdoor business opportunities during the pandemic. The bill, A-4525, had passed both houses unanimously on Nov. 16. It would have allowed restaurants, bars, distilleries and breweries to utilize outdoor spaces to serve food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages if so licensed, until businesses can operate in New Jersey without capacity limits. In his veto message, the governor said he appreciated the intent of the bill, but that it bypasses “existing licensing and regulation processes” that could impact public health and safety. If the Governor supported the intent of this bill, but thought it went too far, perhaps there should have been an effort to work with the Legislature for a conditional veto and still help ease these regulatory burdens on struggling businesses.
Restaurants Are Like ‘a Boat
With 15 Holes in it. The passage of the recent $900 billion relief package was a bitter pill for the restaurant industry. Before the pandemic, restaurants employed more than 12 million people, according to the National Restaurant Association. Since March, however, the industry has been decimated, with tens of thousands of restaurants forced to shut their doors permanently. Many that have managed to remain open have had to lay off workers as well. Yet Congress and the administration, which have directed billions of dollars to the airline and the entertainment industries, have not seen fit to give any direct aid to restaurants. Let me tell you a story. My very first day of owning a restaurant, I reached down to put a piece of bread in the oven, and the pilot light had gone out. The oven blew up in my face, and my hair caught on fire. I ended up spending the night in the hospital. And I remember thinking that the universe was sending me a message. It was saying, “Hey, kid, it’s not as easy as you think.” A lot of stuff has been thrown our way since then. But never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine what we’re going through right now.
5 Ways the New Stimulus Bill May Help
Your small business. The second stimulus bill, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, has been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. While you may be hopeful that it will help your small business, you probably are also glazing over the fine print, unsure of whether you’ll actually be able to take advantage of any of the new relief. As happened after the CARES Act passed March 27, 2020, the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA) will issue guidance that may change how this legislation is implemented. So, use this as a starting point but don’t rely on it as the final word, or as guidance for your specific situation.
New COVID Relief Package Contains Major Enhancements
To the SBA 504 loan program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, includes over $300 billion in additional coronavirus aid for small businesses as well as a $1.4 trillion resolution to fund the government through September 2021. The COVID relief portion of the new act also includes many small business provisions that are significant for the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan Program. 504 loans are paired with private-sector commercial loans and provide up to $5 million of aggregate SBA eligibility on standard 504 projects; up to $5.5 million per 504 energy efficient green project not exceed $16.5 million in the aggregate; and up to $5.5 million per eligible small manufacturing project with no limit on total SBA dollars available. These are SBA 2nd mortgage loan portions only; there is no limit on overall project dollar size. It will take time for the SBA to implement the provisions of the new act into regulations and guidance. We will provide updated information as soon as it becomes available.
Restaurants Won’t Magically Be Back to Normal
Just because it’s 2021. We’ll soon be raising a glass to bid a no-so-fond farewell to the dumpster fire that was 2020. At 12:01 on New Year’s Eve, the world will collectively press a reset button in the hopes of starting anew, much like we unplug a cable box or a computer when things are just too glitchy. January 1 may be the beginning of a new year, but it’s basically just another Friday and that simple little Friday has a lot of expectations thrust upon it this year. Just like everyone else on the planet, restaurant owners, restaurant workers, and restaurant customers all have high hopes for a return to some kind of normal in 2021. Restaurant owners are hoping that in the new year they’ll no longer have to spend money they don’t have on things that won’t be useful anymore. With COVID regulations changing more often than the diaper of a baby who has entirely too many lentils in their diet, owners are constantly reevaluating what they need to purchase in order to stay in business.
Igloos, Nooks and Greenhouses
A review of the many ways we dined in 2020. How does a person dine out without encountering hosts, servers or chefs? It’s an impossible question. The hospitality industry is, at its core, hospitable. A friendly smile is shrouded behind a mask. A handshake is impossible from 6 feet apart. Pulling out a chair, handing over a menu, pouring a drink and plating a meal all require the thing we were emphatically told not to do this year: be in close contact with others. Tents, igloos, picnics, plexiglass, indoor nooks and outdoor greenhouses – restaurants tried dozens of creative ways to give diners a semblance of safety. But were these methods safe enough?
How the Pandemic is Restructuring
Restaurant companies. Big-name players are realigning top management to provide more flexibility and give additional attention to new revenue streams. When COVID-19 up-ended the business back in March, restaurant executives had few signposts to guide them through the catastrophic unknowns. It was like navigating a kayak through Class Five rapids while blindfolded, with the crash of waterfalls signaling a cliff ahead. But the survivors discovered an unanticipated benefit. Forced to virtually suspend operations, headquarters realized they had a chance to re-think policies and procedures almost from the whiteboard stage, including how a restaurant company could be structured for maximum agility while the rules keep changing. Or as the creator of Twin Peaks and Velvet Taco put it, quoting Winston Churchill to explain the company’s complete recast into a new concern called FB Society, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Washington, D.C. to Vaccinate Restaurant Workers
Many due to COVID-19. Restaurant workers in Washington, D.C., should start receiving COVID-19 vaccines around Feb. 1., according to Mayor Muriel Bowser, or a day after the city concludes its annual 14-day Winter Restaurant Week. In revealing the District of Columbia’s schedule for inoculating all residents, Bowser stressed that the beginning of next month is the targeted start date for vaccinating “other essential workers,” a category that includes restaurant employees. Depending on how much of the two approved vaccines are available, “we can turn them on sooner or later,” she said during a Monday press conference. By that time, the vaccines should have been offered to all residents aged 65 or older and specific groups of essential workers, including grocery-store employees, public-safety personnel and pre-school teachers and staff members.
The Pandemic’s New Chefs and Foodies
How the health crisis shaped what we cook and crave. Stuck-at-home Americans cooked gourmet sauces, tried new recipes and cleared spice racks during the pandemic. Those trends may permanently influence what people buy, crave and eat in the years ahead — even as the Covid-19 vaccine puts the end of the health crisis in sight and investors bet on pent-up demand for traveling and going out to restaurants. “People are exploring,” said Krishnakumar Davey, president of strategic analytics at IRI. “There is palate exploration, recipe exploration going on. We have documented all kinds of spicy sauces that have grown substantially — we’re talking about hundreds of percent points in smaller growth categories. That is happening and a lot of Gen X and millennials have taken to cooking at home for the first time. So, some of those habits will stick.”
Did You Know?
Virtua offers rare treatment for coronavirus cases. Virtua Health is now offering a rare treatment for non-hospitalized, high-risk patients who are battling mild to moderate cases of the coronavirus, the health system announced Tuesday morning. Virtua has provided bamlanivimab, a coronavirus treatment that makes use of monoclonal antibodies, to nearly 100 patients since December. “We’re very proud to be among the first in our region to offer this exciting new therapy,” Virtua Health Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. John Matsinger said. “Early studies suggest that bamlanivimab may resolve symptoms more quickly and possibly reduce progression of disease and associated hospitalizations. Further studies are ongoing regarding its use and effectiveness, but we are glad to have this treatment option as part of our larger toolkit for caring for those with COVID-19.”
When will the extra $300 in unemployment benefits start? Some states have already started to distribute the extra $300 in federal unemployment aid this week after Congress passed a long-awaited COVID-19 relief package in December that will extend aid to millions of jobless Americans. Some labor experts were concerned that President Donald Trump’s delay in signing the $900 billion rescue bill into law would mean that recipients would only get 10 weeks of the bonus benefits instead of 11 weeks. About 14 million people faced a lapse in their regular unemployment checks — averaging about $400 a week — at the end of December. Some state unemployment agencies, however, avoided a delay in payments and have started sending out the $300 bonus for the week ended Jan. 2 or 3.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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