Plan Calls for Some Jersey Shore Beaches, Restaurants to Reopen in June
If Murphy allows it. Cape May County officials are hoping to incrementally reopen beaches, boardwalks, bars and other staples of its tourism industry over the next two months, but only if they can get Governor Phil Murphy to ease the statewide restrictions, he implemented to fight coronavirus. The county sent Murphy its proposal Tuesday, suggesting that non-essential businesses from hotels to whale watches can safely reopen before the peak vacation season by using mitigation measures like increased sanitation, decreased capacity and ubiquitous masking to limit the spread of the virus.
As Restaurants Remain Shuttered
American cities fear the future. Restaurants have become the economic lifeblood for many cities. The coronavirus threatens to take away more than just delicious food. The nation’s cities are peppered with neighborhoods, areas animated in recent years by a huge restaurant boom. In any one of them, the failure of even a few key independent restaurants could spell devastation for their local economies. While the federal government has created a program to help small businesses, including restaurants, many were largely unable to gain access to the first tranche of $349 billion before the money was depleted. They will also struggle to take advantage of the current $310 billion round because the terms of the program, which require that 75 percent of funds go toward payroll in order to have the loan forgiven, do not seem to take long-term closures into account.
NJ Restaurant Sues Chubb
For COVID-19 Coverage. A New Jersey eatery hit Chubb Ltd. with a proposed class action Tuesday accusing the insurer of wrongfully denying business interruption coverage to restaurants shuttered due to COVID-19, calling food “vital to the national spirit” and bemoaning the loss of income to eateries and their employees. Benito Ristorante in Union is seeking a declaration in New Jersey federal court that it’s owed coverage as well as contract-breach damages from Chubb and its subsidiary Indemnity Insurance Company of North America. The restaurant says eateries can’t get the business interruption coverage from Chubb for the unforeseen pandemic losses despite having all-risk policies. The complaint details the history of the global health crisis, from the World Health Organization’s international public health emergency warning in late January to the government’s widespread shutdown orders in March that forced sit-down eateries to limit service to take-out or deliveries. New Jersey was among the first states to declare a state of emergency and Gov. Phil Murphy issued business restrictions on March 16.
SBA Slashes Disaster-Loan Limit From $2 Million to $150,000
Shuts out nearly all new applicants. An emergency disaster lending program for small businesses has been so overwhelmed by demand that it has significantly limited the size of loans it issues, while blocking nearly all new applications from small businesses, according to people familiar with the situation. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is a long-standing Small Business Administration program that’s separate from the new Paycheck Protection Program, which has challenges of its own.
Over $100B in PPP Funds Still Available from Round 2
SBA encourages NJ small businesses and nonprofits to apply. With billions of dollars in potentially forgivable Payroll Protection Program (PPP) capital still available to small businesses and nonprofits, the U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging New Jersey small business owners to apply for PPP loans to help provide them eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed. The second round, which kicked off April 27, has awarded 2,378,057 loans worth $181,158,888,644 as of close of business on Tuesday, May 5. More than 900K of those loans, worth $57,296,660,188, were issued by small lenders. SBA forgives the portion of Paycheck Protection loan proceeds used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. Loan payments may be deferred for one year, and is retroactive from February 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.
Did You Know?
“Restaurant Rap” continues with exclusive restaurant industry interviews. Today’s “Restaurant Rap” features an exclusive interview with aspiring restaurant owner Phil Villapiano. Phil was in the process of completing renovations to a restaurant that he had purchased in October, 2019 when he was shut-down by Gov. Murphy’s non-essential construction stop work order. Tune in and listen to Phil’s story. This series appears each Thursday within the company’s Restaurant Industry Alert daily bulletins. It presents recorded virtual video interviews with local restaurateurs and other industry professionals, many of whom are the firm’s clients, customers and associates.
All previously recorded interviews can also be found at our website www.123bsc.com/news/ and on at https://vimeo.com/bielatsantore.
Health insurers offer discounts to customers hit by pandemic. Several of the U.S.’s biggest for-profit insurers will give money back to customers and cut upfront costs for care and prescriptions, after they got an unexpected windfall because patients delayed normal medical services during the pandemic. UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation’s largest insurer, said it will rebate premiums to some commercial customers and waive cost-sharing for Medicare members as part of a $1.5 billion pandemic assistance program. Separately, Cigna Corp. said its pharmacy unit will cap the costs of some drugs for people who have lost health insurance.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
New restaurant industry survey. Beginning next Wednesday, May 6th, Bielat Santore & Company will conduct a survey of restaurant owners and operators throughout the NY-NJ-PA metropolitan area, emphasizing the challenges the industry is facing during COVID-19 pandemic.
The firm will donate $1 dollar for every valid survey response it receives to the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC). The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed to save the local restaurants affected by COVID-19. “Our firm is committed to working with the active community of restauranteurs and hospitality operators, many of whom are our clients, to help with the rescue and reopening of their industry,” states Richard Santore, Partner in Bielat Santore & Company.
Look for the survey to appear in next Wednesday’s Restaurant Industry Daily Alert, as well as on the company’s website at www.123bsc.com/news/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/123BSC/ In addition to the company’s monetary donation, if enough survey responses are submitted, Bielat Santore & Company will publish a comprehensive report compiling the results of the survey for distribution.
A voice for our industry. If you are finding these daily bulletins informative and beneficial during this pandemic, we kindly ask that you write a brief Google review providing a vote of your appreciation. Simply Google “Bielat Santore & Company” and when the company name appears click the button on the right to write your review or; if you don’t use Gmail, go to Google Maps, type “Bielat Santore & Company” – Allenhurst, NJ into Google Maps; scroll down and you will see an option to leave a review.
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.