DoorDash – New Jersey Restaurant Association Team Up
For $500,000 Grant Program. The app-based food delivery service, DoorDash, has partnered with the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association (NJRHA) to provide restaurants across New Jersey with grants of $2,500 or $5,000 based on need and criteria. Made possible by a donation of $500,000 delivered to the NJRHA as part of DoorDash’s five-year $200 million-dollar Main Street Strong Pledge, which includes $10M in grants for restaurants in cities and states around the country, funding received through the program can be used to pay rent, purchase cold-weather equipment, PPE, and more. “We are thankful to have partners like DoorDash who recognize the dire situation our hospitality industry is in,” said Marilou Halvorsen, NJRHA President and CEO. “New Jersey’s hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit in the country. Having grants like this available for our independent restaurant community will assist in being able to sustain their operations.” Eligible restaurants are those that can show a loss of at least 30 percent from 2019 and do not have to be a DoorDash partner or NJRHA member.
Bill Calling for NJ Regional Reopening Plan Advances
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0. A Senate committee advanced a bill today, strongly supported by NJBIA, that would direct Gov. Phil Murphy to implement a county-based plan which allows businesses to operate during a pandemic based on the health numbers in that region. Citing specific regional reopening approaches currently applied in New York and Pennsylvania in testimony submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz said the intent of bill S-3093 is to move New Jersey away from its one-size-fits-all model to benefit areas of the state less impacted by COVID-19. “The entire economy and all of our tax revenue would not have to suffer as much with this scalpel approach instead of a blunter statewide edict, while public health will still be appropriately protected where necessary. To run a business, you need a plan, and it is hard to plan under the constant threat of unpredictable and unilateral restrictions from state government,” Emigholz said.
New $10,000 EIDL Grants
Do you qualify? The Economic Aid Act signed December 27, 2020 includes additional funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loans and grants. This article includes information about the Targeted EIDL grant application process provided by the SBA. Congress has allocated another $20,000,000,000 in EIDL grants (advances) in the new stimulus bill. By way of background, the CARES Act that was passed March 27, 2020 included a grant (or advance) for those who applied for an EIDL loan due to the COVID-19 crisis, in the amount of up to $10,000. The SBA later determined that those grants would be made in an amount of $1000 per employee. In addition, the funds available for grants were exhausted before all eligible businesses received them. This legislation appears to help address some of these concerns. Worth noting: Businesses that applied for an EIDL— even earlier in 2020– and meet the qualifications may receive the full $10,000 grant, minus any amount already received.
As Support for $15 Minimum Wage Gains Momentum
Main Street fears it’s not the right time. While small business owners are cheering President Joe Biden’s plans to direct more aid to a Main Street that has been ravaged by the pandemic, they’re also debating another of his pledges — hiking the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Biden’s plans would more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which has not moved since 2009, despite repeated efforts by Democrats to increase pay for low-wage workers. A 2019 report from the Congressional Budget Office projected that hiking the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour gradually by 2025 would increase pay for 17 million workers but could also cost 1.3 million workers their jobs. In addition, it would lift 1.3 million people above the poverty line. While federal minimum pay has been stagnant for more than a decade, more than half of the states in the country have minimum wages above the federal floor and the push for $15 is gaining momentum in states and municipalities as local government takes action.
Restaurants Push for More Access to Covid Vaccine
But unlikely to force workers to receive it. As the Covid vaccine rollout gains steam nationwide, restaurants are weighing options to encourage workers to get the vaccine. “Prioritizing testing and vaccine distribution will help ensure the food supply chain for our communities and ensure that agriculture industry and restaurant industry employees will be safe selling and serving healthy food,” Sean Kennedy, a spokesman for the industry group said in a statement to CNBC. “The Association continues to engage with the Administration on vaccine distribution planning and the State Restaurant Associations are working to ensure restaurant workers continue to be considered essential to food security and are prioritized in their state vaccine rollout plans.”
How Restaurants Can Use Technology
To expand outdoor space. If one thing is clear, it’s that outdoor dining is here to stay. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants have had to rethink their spaces in order to accommodate additional outdoor dining capacity. All over the country, restaurants have gotten creative to reconfigure outdoor spaces into al fresco dining areas. It makes sense that customers are wary of the indoor dining experience right now. As the pandemic continues, it has become clear that standard sanitization and cleaning procedures aren’t going to make the cut. While online food and restaurant deliveries have gained momentum, many diners still want to experience in-restaurant dining. Restaurant owners quickly adapted to the new reality by creating outdoor dining spaces, often in creative ways. While many of these new outdoor dining spaces are ingenious ways of making patrons feel safe with limited resources, most are temporary structures. A tarp, tent, or other quickly erected structure is a good remedy for now, but not a long-term solution. In the future, restaurants will need outdoor dining spaces that satisfy consumers’ changing needs for safer in-restaurant dining experiences while maintaining their comfort.
Restaurant Sales Projected to Climb 10.2% in 2021
But not enough to recover from devastation of COVID-19. After a steep decline in sales in 2020, 2021 will be a year of transition and rebuilding, the National Restaurant Association State of the Industry report says. This will be the “year of transition and rebuilding,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the research and knowledge group with the National Restaurant Association said, and it will take time before the industry gets back to pre-pandemic levels. Last year ended with sales $240 billion below the forecasted levels, with approximately 110,000 foodservice establishments permanently closed (and nearly three-quarters of those operators saying they would not open another restaurant). On a positive note, 2021 will be better than 2020 and for most [restaurant segments] the operational trend is advancing, not retreating.
New Restaurant Openings Approach Pre-Pandemic Levels
Yelp data showed one promising sign for restaurants amid an otherwise difficult year. The number of new restaurants and other food business that opened in the fourth quarter of 2020 was close to 2019 levels, according to data from Yelp, a promising sign in an otherwise bleak quarter as the pandemic dragged on. In the period, 18,207 restaurants opened in the U.S., down only 4% compared to Q4 2019. For the full year, new restaurant openings were down 16% compared to 2019. Openings are determined by new businesses added to Yelp. Some foodservice formats actually proliferated in the quarter: Food trucks, dessert places, gourmet food stores and bakeries all had more openings in Q4 2020 than in the year-ago period. A pandemic may seem like a less-than-ideal time to launch a new restaurant, but there are some unique advantages.
How Jersey Mike’s Subs Grew in 2020
It Began Acting Like a Tech Company! When the lockdowns hit in March, business at Jersey Mike’s dropped 45 percent in a week. And with fall sports on hiatus, CEO and founder Peter Cancro lost the ability to reach his football-loving customers with game-day commercials. So, he went on the offensive: He shifted his marketing dollars to Fox News, NBC, CNN, and ABC. “Everyone was watching the news, so they saw we were still open,” says Cancro, who used the marketing blitz to reaffirm his small-business roots. One commercial, for instance, opens on a photo of Cancro posing with his high school football coach, Rod Smith — the banker who famously went on to lend him $125,000 to buy his original sub shop in 1975. The quick advertising pivot helped Jersey Mike’s stabilize its business and break into the top 10 of the Franchise 500 for the third consecutive year. It also proved the value of the Jersey Mike’s app, which launched in 2019 to make online ordering easy. Almost overnight, third-party delivery surged to half of the company’s sales. “People say Starbucks and Domino’s are tech companies,” says Cancro. “Well, so are we.”
Did You Know?
The other raging virus you must pay attention to. Over one third of all US imports enter the country on ships at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California. Even industries anticipating a sluggish first few 2021 months are rapidly rebuilding depleted inventories, where imports are exceeding even prior record volumes. Dozens of cargo ships stacked up in the oceans—with many more behind them only adding to already mounting delays—is only one of the escalating supply chain problems. From port of entry, needed raw materials, components, finished goods and parts must then be transported to stateside factories or distribution centers. The nation’s continued trucker shortage only compounds these problems. Continued US Postal Service backlogs aren’t only forcing more envelopes and parcels to already capacity constrained private carriers, these worsening conditions are putting even local businesses at serious risk.
Biden says $1,400 payments are a moving target. President Joe Biden, seeking bipartisan support for his $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, said Monday he would negotiate over the $1,400 direct payments he proposed in the legislation. Biden said he simply adopted the proposal from the House-passed legislation that was embraced by former President Donald Trump, saying he thought it would increase the chance of getting the larger bill through Congress. The payment, added to the $600 already going out to Americans, would raise the second stimulus check to $2,000. But some lawmakers of both parties objected to the way the money would be distributed, and Biden said he would try to address their concerns.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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The Little Black Book on Small Business Financing
Bielat Santore & Company is teaming up with SCORE NJ, the states’ largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors in a series of webinars on small business financing for the hospitality industry. The initial webinar will be presented on Thursday, March 4th.
Shortly thereafter Bielat Santore & Company will be releasing its newest library resource, “The Little Black Book on Small Business Financing.” This handbook will describe the financing sources available to small businesses, outline the steps necessary in preparing the requisition package required to obtain such financing and provide a glossary of financing terms you may or may not be familiar with. You can find this valuable resource on our company website’s “Resource Library” page below. Keep your eyes open for it’s release!