New Jersey Towns Could OK Street Drinking
And sidewalk sales. New Jersey towns could close off streets and allow bars, restaurants and other businesses to allow eating, drinking and retail sales on roadways and sidewalks during the coronavirus outbreak under a bill before lawmakers. The measure would allow towns to close off a street one or more days a week between Thursday and Sunday and restrict it to pedestrian access. The measure has already passed the state Senate and was advanced in an Assembly committee on Wednesday. Bars and restaurants could move tables onto sidewalks or into roadways to serve food and alcoholic beverages to patrons, who would still be required to observe social distancing and use personal protective equipment, to be enforced by the municipality.
As Restaurants Reopen, Seating Moves Outdoors
Dining in the street? Cities are accelerating applications and waiving fees to allow alfresco dining, but the moves are disrupting neighborhoods and cutting much-needed tax revenue. As restaurants around the country look to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, outdoor seating is becoming a survival option, and local governments are helping by cutting red tape. To help restaurants get back on their feet after the coronavirus-induced shutdown, the city has waived its fee for outdoor dining and substantially shortened the processing time for applications. The approval for outdoor seating, which involves neighborhood review of a restaurant’s plans, used to take three to six months. Now, the wait is a couple of days.
Does My Business-Interruption Insurance Cover Closing Because of Covid-19?
Read the contract carefully before filing a claim. Businesses looking for payouts through their property and casualty insurance policies to cover losses due to Covid-19 closures will need to read their contracts carefully before filing a claim. Many policies explicitly do not cover business interruption due to viruses or pandemics. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association, an insurance industry group, argues that insurers shouldn’t be liable for Covid-related business interruptions. “Pandemics are not insurable because they are too widespread, severe, and unpredictable to underwrite,” says David Sampson, president and CEO of the APCIA. “Commercial-property insurance policies that include business-interruption coverage generally are not intended to cover disease- or pandemic-related losses.”
Trillions in Stimulus Go Unchecked
With watchdogs kept toothless. The U.S. has spent more than half of $3 trillion in economic rescue funds passed by Congress — with little of the oversight intended to ensure the money goes to the right places. At the same time, about $2 trillion in stimulus money has already been distributed, according to an estimate from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group focused on fiscal policy. Leaders of both parties have failed to agree on a chairman to lead the congressional oversight panel. And Democrats are already voicing concerns on whether Trump’s hand-picked special inspector general for the stimulus can be independent from his former boss.
Streamlined SBA Application Makes Loan Forgiveness Easier
For self-employed PPP borrowers. Sole proprietors and self-employed individuals who received a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program now have an easier way to ask for forgiveness. The Small Business Administration has released what it’s calling an “EZ Forgiveness Application,” which the agency says will require “fewer calculations and less documentation” and reduce the bureaucratic burden for smaller recipients. According to the SBA, the new EZ application is part of an effort to make the program more flexible.
McDonald’s Sees U.S. Sales Improve
More restaurants open globally. McDonald’s Corp. said its U.S. sales are improving and more and more of its restaurants are opening around the world. The Chicago-based restaurant giant (NYSE: MCD) said Tuesday that May U.S. comparable sales fell by only 5% from May 2019, which is a big improvement over the 19% yearly drop in comparable sales reported in April. In April, only 75% of McDonald’s were open globally and by yesterday, 95% were open. France and Spain helped those figures. Both countries had all locations closed in April, and 95% were open as of yesterday. In Italy, none of the McDonald’s there were open in April and by yesterday, all (nearly 600) were open.
Did You Know?
Casino chefs out of work due to coronavirus are using their skills to feed those in need. More than an hour away from his normal confines at Gordon Ramsay Steak inside Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, Executive Chef Larry Smith stands in a kitchen with sous chefs Kelly Wright and Paul Hanley at South Philly Barbacoa, on 9th Street in the City of Brotherly Love. In the background, the steady hum of a fan acts as background noise while volunteers pack bread pudding and lay them on tables. Working as an assembly line, a crew of out-of-work Harrah’s culinary professionals, put in a full day as if they were full-time, making anywhere between 200 and 250 meals – plating the polenta, followed by sautéed broccoli rabe that was drizzled with olive oil and garlic.
The federal $600 unemployment benefit ends July 31. What’s next? For many out-of-work Americans, an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment insurance is providing some stability during an otherwise shaky economic period. But how long might that benefit last? Among other things, the CARES Act bumped regular state unemployment insurance — which can vary from as low as $213 per week in Alabama to $555 in Massachusetts (the national average is $378) — an extra $600 per week. The benefit is set to expire July 31. But with a pandemic still in full force, lawmakers are debating what might come next. These are some of the several proposals on the table.
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