New Jersey Governor Unveils Road Map to Reopening State
Governor Phil Murphy detailed his road map to reopening the state. He announced that they stay at home order that has been in effect since March 21 will remain in effect in its entirety until further notice and that before the state reopens, he needs to see four factors: a sustained drop in the curve, expanded testing, contact tracing, and safe places for people to isolate. He also said a newly created Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission will come up with a clear standard of essential and safe, beginning with businesses, industries, and activities that are not only essential to our economy but which provide the lowest risk of disease transmission. Then, the state will bring more businesses and activities online until it achieves a fully functioning and open economy. The plan to reopen, he said, will be driven by data, science, health progress, and common sense and is designed with only one goal: To restore the health, strength, and well-being of New Jersey for the long term.
Major Retailers Call on States
To adopt uniform reopening plans. The top two trade groups representing major retailers such as Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. are calling on governors to adopt uniform reopening standards as the pandemic subsides, including allowing warehouses and distribution centers nationwide to reopen all at once, rather than state-by-state. As states, cities, and companies big and small struggle over when and how to restart the economy, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Retail Federation have some ideas. On Monday, they’re sending a six-page memo to governors outlining a three-phased plan for how stores can maintain public safety once they are allowed to reopen their doors to customers. The guidelines call for stores to have “robust” health and safety protocols in place, including sanitation and social-distancing procedures.
The Pandemic Will Change American Retail Forever
Because the pandemic pauses the present, it forces us to live in the future. To see how the pandemic is already reshaping American retail, you don’t even have to go outside and count storefronts. Your receipts and credit-card statements tell the whole story. On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail spending in March collapsed by the largest number on record. Travel spending—including on airlines, hotels, and cruises—is down more than 100 percent, if you include refunds. Department stores and clothing stores are facing an extinction-level event after having experienced years of decline. Pockets of resiliency and even strength include grocery stores and liquor stores, which in March had their best month of growth on record. Home-improvement spending is up, as well.
Benefited from small-business rescue. While some mom-and-pop businesses waited in vain for their share of a federal bailout, a 700-person biotech firm that recently paid a multimillion-dollar settlement to the Justice Department was approved for one. The Paycheck Protection Program, touted as a Covid-19 lifeline for businesses with fewer than 500 workers, provided tens of millions of dollars in loans to firms with far larger payrolls than that, according to disclosures filed by publicly traded firms that received the aid. Companies with as many as 1,500 workers could access the program — thanks to obscure federal rules that in 2016 redefined what constitutes a “small” business.
Some U.S. Companies Will Keep Small Business Loans
Defying backlash. Several publicly listed companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars said on Friday they had no plans to return funding they received under a U.S. government program providing emergency loans to small businesses, even though some of their peers have started to do so. The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday that “big public companies with access to capital” would have a hard time proving they really needed the coronavirus relief funds, dubbed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. It updated its eligibility criteria, and gave companies that do not qualify until May 7 to return the aid.
Did You Know?
California lessons from the 1918 pandemic. Los Angeles, the big, striving city on the south coast moved fairly quickly at the first signs of danger — shutting down bars, pool halls, sporting events and more. Its rival to the north, San Francisco, waited at least a week longer to order closures, as its leaders went mask-happy, betting that their best weapon against the onrushing contagion was face coverings and going slow on what is now known as “social distancing.” Los Angeles and San Francisco in the early 20th century were vastly different places than they are now. But they already had distinct cultures and leaders who responded to the great Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 in markedly different ways, thereby producing distinctly different outcomes.
These NJ Restaurants are offering takeout and delivery. It’s near impossible to predict the ongoing toll of the coronavirus pandemic. But it is clear businesses are already hurting, severely. Within the restaurant industry, we’ve already seen some initiatives to mitigate the damage: delivery options, discount gift cards, most recently—and perhaps ambitiously—the Dining Bonds Initiative, a new national program spearheaded by HP-PR and Hall PR meant to draw funding to the struggling restaurant industry ASAP. Here is an updated list of NJ restaurants offering takeout and delivery.
Everything you should know about mortgage forbearance. More than 3.4 million Americans are in mortgage forbearance plans, which allows them to pause payments for a month to as long as a year. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to jolt the economy, more people will face financial difficulty, including how to pay their monthly mortgage bill. Some 6.4 percent of all active mortgages are in forbearance. So far, the total amount of unpaid principal due to forbearance is $754 billion, according to Black Knight. This includes 5.6 percent of loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and 8.9 percent of all FHA and VA loans.
Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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