Senate Approves Relief
To replenish halted coronavirus small-business loan program. The Senate approved a measure Tuesday that would revive a program geared to keep small businesses from shuttering and their employees from going on unemployment because of the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The $484 billion bill would inject the program, which provides loans to small businesses, with more than $320 billion. Of that, $60 billion would be set aside for community-based lenders, smaller banks and credit unions to assist smaller businesses that don’t have established relationships with big banks and had a harder time accessing the funds in the first round of loans. About $10 billion of that would also be allocated for administration fees. The measure would also bolster the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan and grant programs, which dried up during the coronavirus crisis.
Many Small Businesses Say
Loans won’t get them to rehire. Some small businesses that obtained a highly-coveted government loan say they won’t be able to use it to bring all their laid-off workers back, even though that is what the program was designed to do. The Paycheck Protection Program promises a business owner loan forgiveness if they retain or rehire all the workers they had in late February. But owners say the equation isn’t so simple, in part because of current economic conditions and partly due to the terms of the loans. To get the loans forgiven, companies need to spend 75% on payroll within eight weeks of receiving the money. The other 25% can be spent on rent, utilities, and mortgage payments. Otherwise, the loan has generous terms: Only a 1% interest rate and six months before any principal is due.
National Restaurant Association
Asks for $240B Recovery Fund. More than eight million industry employees have been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the pandemic. The National Restaurant Association is asking Congress to support a new $240 billion recovery fund to “provide a lifeline” to restaurants struggling financially amid the pandemic. The fund, called the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry Recovery Fund, has three main purposes—to support expenses and debt obligations, to help restaurants rehire and retain workers, and to assist locations in readjusting to heightened health and safety standards.
Restaurant Industry “Blueprint for Recovery”
Authorize and appropriate a temporary emergency relief fund. The relief fund should be authorized as a comprehensive grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Eligibility criteria shall be determined by Congress, but should be limited to restaurants in business before March 15, 2020 that have suffered significant sales and job losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Available on a quarterly basis, the grants would be requested by restaurants through a new portal at the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) where restaurant owners would apply for up to, but no more than, the prior year-on-years quarterly gross revenue, subject to terms and conditions on the use of these funds, through the end of 2020.
Did You Know?
A light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel – 6 signs to look for. There are encouraging signs that the most intensive phase of our battle against the novel coronavirus is succeeding. The number of new COVID-19 cases nationally is tapering downward and some initial studies have shown that far more people were infected, but had mild or no symptoms at all. That doesn’t mean we can – or should — declare victory and go home. We’re far from being able to return to “normal.” But it’s nice to see what appear to be a few green shoots of encouraging data.
Will I lose my home during the coronavirus outbreak? On April 1, at the height of the coronavirus emergency, rent and mortgage payments became due for millions of Americans. Many people haven’t worked since the middle of March. While the beginning of the month would normally be a payday for American workers, those can’t go to work, can’t work from home and don’t receive sick leave may not get a paycheck. The federal government relief package offers financial assistance and relief for Americans affected by the coronavirus and outlines plans for mortgage payment forbearance, the halting of evictions, and foreclosures suspensions on properties obtained with federally backed loans.
Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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Thank you and remember all of the “Restaurant Industry Alerts” and “Thursday Restaurant Rap” interviews can be found at www.123bsc.com/news/. We intend to continue to keep you informed as we all look for an end to this crisis.