Cities Have Permanently Lost 400,000 Jobs During COVID-19 Pandemic?
Many shift to suburbs. The pandemic has wiped out about 400,000 jobs in large urban areas, with about 175,000 of the positions shifting to the suburbs and smaller cities, according to estimates by payroll processor Gusto based on an analysis of the 100,000 or so small businesses it serves that was provided exclusively to USA TODAY. “The recovery so far has been almost entirely concentrated in suburban areas,” says Gusto economist Luke Pardue. “The urban areas have been hit harder.” Many Americans have moved – temporarily or permanently – from big cities to less densely populated suburban and rural areas during the outbreak, largely to reduce the risk of contagion. But many of those new suburb-dwellers could well be working from home for companies still based in the city. The Gusto data suggests the pandemic may be dealing a bigger blow to the vibrancy of America’s urban centers by destroying the office and restaurant jobs that have served as their lifeblood. “When people move out of cities and work remotely from suburbs, economic activity shifts along with them.”
Restaurants Faring Better
With second round of PPP loans. The Accommodation and Food Services industry, which includes restaurants, has received more than $18 billion in loans under the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program that began last month, more than any other industry. According to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Accommodation and Food Services industry has received 18% of the $101 billion in PPP loans distributed so far in 2021. This is a marked improvement from the 8% share of PPP loans that the industry received under Round 1 of the program that ran between April and August of 2020.
$25 Billion Restaurant Relief Package
Has bipartisan support. Restaurants and small restaurant chains would be eligible for money to pay rent, insurance, payroll and other expenses under a $25 billion proposal that’s part of the massive Covid-19 relief package in Congress. The restaurant money has bipartisan support, according to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, who was in Camillus today to talk about the plan. It would also help bars, brewpubs, taprooms, caterers and other food service or drinking establishments. This new infusion would expand those eligible expenses, Schumer said today, to include mortgage payments, costs for setting up outdoor dining, and maintenance. It would also cover cleaning supplies and expenses incurred to make improvements to stem the spread of the virus.
Restaurants Offer Unique Subscription Kits to Stay Afloat
A little bit of income. We’ve become a subscription nation, with membership fueling everything from our music and media to our wardrobes, cleaning supplies and toiletries. So, it should come as no surprise that one of the most impactful pivots the restaurant industry has made in the wake of the pandemic taps into that behavior, according to Sam Bernstein, founder of Table22, a company that helps restaurants build customer membership models and add revenue streams from meal kits, experiences, content and more. In fact, in hindsight, of course we’re willing and eager to sign up for regular delivery or takeout, meal kits and more from our favorite restaurants. We, the dining public, miss engaging with the places we love, and creative new offerings from restaurants and bars rolling out subscriptions provide a way to support them and stay connected.
Among restaurant and delivery services. A fraud scheme where cybercriminals leverage the Telegram messaging platform to steal from restaurants and food delivery services was just identified by research and analysis from Sift’s Digital Trust and Safety Architects. The company discovered that bad actors are advertising their services on Telegram forums in order to purchase food and beverage orders at a reduced price, using stolen payment information on behalf of customers. The advent of fraud marketplaces appearing on messaging apps comes as food and beverage delivery apps have seen notable increases in attempted payment fraud. In fact, according to data from the Sift global network of more than 34,000 apps and sites, fraud rates among restaurant apps and food delivery services increased 14 percent from Q3 to Q4 2020.
Restaurant Lobbyists Warn of a Slower Rebound
Under a $15 minimum wage. More than four out of five restaurants say their recovery from the pandemic would be impeded by the passage of a nationwide $15 minimum wage, while employees would suffer a loss of jobs and benefits, according to new research from the National Restaurant Association. The survey of 2,000 restaurant operators, conducted during the first week of February, provides statistical support for the lobbying group’s warnings about including a wage hike in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID recovery bill, which is currently being hammered out. It specifically targets the contention of wage-hike proponents—and many in the restaurant business—that a $15 minimum wage would add topspin to the recovery of the nation and industry by providing workers with more spending money. The highlighted results include a finding that only 2% of respondents believe a $15 wage would have a positive impact on their economic recovery, as opposed to 82% who said the fallout would be negative.
Pizza Was the Restaurant Hero of 2020
A rare bright spot in an industry. For many Americans, pizza has been a perfect pandemic option, a comfort food for a time that is anything but comfortable. Whether a thin-crust version topped with fresh vegetables or a stuffed-crust pie piled high with sausage and pepperoni, pizza has checked many boxes during these strange times, primarily because it travels well and can easily feed — sometimes fairly inexpensively — an entire family. Over the first nine months of 2020, the combined revenue of Domino’s and Papa John’s grew so much that it was roughly equivalent to their selling about 30 million more large cheese pizzas than they had the year before. In a year when restaurants across the country have struggled to stay afloat, with many unable to cover rent payments and pay employees because of government-mandated shutdowns, those that dished up pizza have generally fared better. Sales of pizza grew as much as 4 percent last year, according to Technomic, a food industry research and consulting firm. Pizza and chicken are the only foods categories expected to have grown.
Change by the Plateful!
Covering restaurants in a pandemic. For months after all the restaurant dining rooms in the city were forced to close last March, I wrote nothing that resembled a review. The entire business and all the people in it were suffering, and I spent my time as a reporter, finding out how some of them were getting along. I quickly learned that when talking with anybody who had earned a livelihood from restaurants or bars, I needed to budget at least an hour. Before the pandemic, I normally called chefs after I’d written a review of their restaurant but before it was published, to check facts. The chefs usually sounded as if I were calling with the results of a lab test. One chef called me back from a hospital and told me his wife was in the next room giving birth to their first child, but — oh no, don’t worry, it’s fine, he said; in fact, I’d picked a perfect time to call! These were, in other words, awkward conversations.
Jersey City’s New Casino in the Park
Set to break ground soon. A lot formerly home to a noteworthy catering facility has been vacant for almost a full year, but construction of a new venue from an experienced hospitality group is slated to begin in the coming months. Hudson County started the process of upgrading their former Casino in the Park property several years ago. The venue, located near the tennis courts inside Lincoln Park, opened as the Lincoln Lodge in 1929 before the Sweeney family took over managing it during the 1950s. A proposal that emerged for the property in 2019 was recently finalized by the city’s planning board during their February 2 meeting. Drawn up by Flemington-based architect Jeffrey Fleisher, the new Casino in the Park will rise three stories, span 25,000 square feet, and include a 46-space parking lot for guests.
Did You Know?
State says Federal PPP loans are tax-exempt for 2020 tax season. Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans given to New Jersey businesses to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic will be exempt from state taxes, and any business expenses paid using PPP money remain deductible for the 2020 tax season. For the 2020 tax season, related expenses paid for with PPP loans will be deductible for both Gross Income Tax (GIT) and Corporation Business Tax (CBT) purposes, and forgiven loans will be excluded from being subject to either tax. The governor said the state can take this action without enabling legislation under existing authority.
Third stimulus check update: Use our calculator to see if you will get $1,400. Congress is still working out the details of the third stimulus plan and there could be changes, but individual stimulus payments to Americans have been largely worked out. Each person, if they meet income requirements, will get up to $1,400, plus payments for dependents. There are big changes in how many people can count as a dependent and how much they will get. Unlike past plans, all dependents, regardless of age, are also eligible for the payments based on your family’s income level. That will allow families to receive money for college students, for example, and older relatives who are claimed on their tax returns.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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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.
The Little Black Book on Small Business Financing
Shortly after their March 4th webinar, 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!