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The Cautious Slowly Evolving New Normal by NJ & PA Governors

The Cautious Slowly Evolving New Normal by NJ & PA Governors
We are now in the third month of the Covid-19 quarantine. The State of New Jersey is still in a lockdown mode. Governor Murphy is taking a cautious approach because new jersey has experienced a high rate of infections and deaths due to the coronavirus.

Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania has announced that on June 5, 2020, the commonwealth will relax the quarantine for Southeastern Pennsylvania. He further stated that sixteen counties will go green and red counties will go yellow.

An interesting story I recently viewed on television about Easton PA. Mayor Sal Panto has plans to help local retailers and restaurants. His plan is to close city streets to traffic between 4:00 PM and midnight, Thursday through Sunday. This will allow retailers to display merchandise outside and allow dining at a safe social distance.

Kudos to Mayor Parto for his proactive leadership in supporting the Easton, PA economy. Hopefully, this will be a model for other mayors to follow.

According to NJ.com, Governor Phil Murphy is slowly easing the Covid-19 restrictions in New Jersey. The Governor said he is “taking deliberate incremental steps in reopening the state and avoiding large steps taken together.”

Stores & supermarkets deemed essential, from CVS, Walmart and Costco to ShopRite and Trader Joe’s are open
The essential businesses that remain open — some with limitations — include:
Auto repair shops
Banks and other financial institutions
Bars and restaurants (for drive-through, delivery and takeout only)
Bicycle shops (but only to provide service and repairs)
Convenience stores and grocery stores (any stores that sell food)
Farming equipment stores
Food banks
Gas stations
Gun shops
Hardware stores
Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
Liquor stores
Livestock feed stores
Mail and package delivery stores
Medical supply stores
Microbreweries or brewpubs (for home delivery only)
Mobile phone retail and repair shops
Nurseries and garden centers
Office supply stores and printing shops
Pet stores
Pet groomers, pet daycare providers and pet boarding businesses
Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
Stores that sell items for religious observance or worship
Stores that sell supplies for young children

In closing, I would like to say that the Delaware Valley will continue to lose businesses. Some business owners have become creative in adapting their business model by offering pick-up and delivery options, while others have become more aggressive with their online presence. Unfortunately, these are survival tactics and slow the rate of hemorrhaging cash. The fixed costs for restaurants and retail stores can not meet the expenses to creditors when a business is not allowed to use the full capacity of its buildings. Contact your city and town officials ask them to implement the Easton model as a possible way of increasing sales volume. It’s time for local officials to step up and help.

Please let us know what innovative ideas you or others have used to stimulate sales during this pandemic. nick@kbizbrokers.com

Be safe, wear your mask, gloves, and wash your hands.




These days there is a plethora of information available on television, the internet, and various news media. Many reporters have adopted curation journalism. This type of reporting requires the correspondent to sift through all the available information, find the relevant facts, and craft it into a thorough accurate message. In this week’s blog post I have reviewed much of the current information obtainable from credible sources to forecast what businesses can expect as this pandemic continues and its aftermath. A CDC spokesperson stated on TV that a vaccine may not be available until 2022 which indicates the economy will be in a state of oscillation for the next couple of years.

One of the businesses that have been dramatically affected by this epidemic is the foodservice industry which I will use as an example for this blog post. Some restaurant owners to keep the cash flowing are offering customers pickup and delivery options. This is not a long term solution, because the sales volume is not sufficient to cover the overhead costs. This tactic is covering some costs, but not producing enough income to pay all expenses and earn a profit. To stay in business, the restauranteurs have to be malleable to the current market forces. They should consider finding smaller locations for cutting expenses or partitioning their existing building and subletting. With a smaller retail space consisting of a kitchen, check out, providing takeout, and offering prepackaged catered meals for home consumption.

The food supply chain is shifting most of its packaging from institutional to the consumer. Since institutional is in bulk containers, and consumer marketing packaging is more expensive expect prices to go up at the supermarkets.

Twitter just announced that employees who are currently working from home can continue to do so after the quarantine is over. There are benefits for the organizations that adopt a work from the home business model. Less office space is required which lowers fixed overhead costs. For employees, there is a restructuring of office hours. In many cases, the employees can accomplish their assignments at their own time and schedules. Many of these workers were employed in downtown locations which have many businesses that depend on their patronage. Just a 20% drop in sales volume can be devastating for these businesses.

As the marketplace changes entrepreneurs must look for opportunities for growth and expansion. As stated previously delivery for restaurants will increase exponentially thus creating a need for companies like GrubHub. Also, the delivery service can be extended for many other businesses such as dry cleaners, retailers, and grocery stores.

In closing, people are creatures of habit, and as time passes the consumer will adjust to the new economy. Lifestyles will change and consumer buying habits will be different. Restaurants will eventually reopen, but they will accommodate fewer patrons due to social distancing. The operating costs will remain the same which will be a problem.

Entrepreneurs will have to look for niches in the marketplace and capitalize on them. My former office-mate, a Khe-Sanh Marine used a phrase that applies to the current situation, “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.”

Notice: Effective today, 5/15/2020, all future blog posts will be published on the first and fifteenth of the month.


U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds to Aid Communities Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic Investing in communities and workers

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds to Aid Communities Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic
Investing in communities and workers
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Office of Public Affairs
(202) 482-4883

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
“President Trump is working tirelessly to make sure Americans stay safe during this crisis and that our economy is loaded to spring back when this global scourge recedes,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance funds will support the long-term recovery of communities across the nation that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”
“EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance is designed to provide a wide range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of this pandemic,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “We intend to deploy our CARES Act funding as quickly, effectively, and efficiently as possible, and in a manner that meets the needs of our  communities.”

On March 27, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed the $2 trillion CARES Act into law. The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion of which $1.467 billion is available for grantmaking. The remaining funds will be transferred to cover salaries and expenses and oversight activities.
The Secretary’s announcement comes as EDA has published an Addendum to its Fiscal Year 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity (FY20 PWEAA NOFO) making the funds available.

Under this announcement, EDA will make CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants under the authority of its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is intended to be flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders.
EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance investments will support a wide range of non-construction and construction activities, including Revolving Loan Funds, in regions across the country experiencing severe economic dislocations brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Examples of projects that EDA may fund through its CARES Act Recovery Assistance include economic recovery planning and preparing technical assistance strategies to address economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preparing or updating resiliency plans to respond to future pandemics, implementing entrepreneurial support programs to diversify economies, and constructing public works and facilities that will support economic recovery, including the deployment of broadband for purposes including supporting telehealth and remote learning for job skills.



How to Access Stimulus Funding for Your Small Business

From: US Chamber of Commerce website
How to Access Stimulus Funding for Your Small Business
In March Congress passed the $2 trillion-dollar Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a stimulus package that includes several programs aimed at small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Demand for the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)< https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/ >paycheck-protection-program has been massive since the application window opened on April 3. The original $349 billion allocated for the PPP ran out in mid-April. On April 24, Congress passed legislation to replenish funds for small business loan programs.

What’s New: The newest legislation will allocate another $310 billion to the PPP and an additional $10 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant program. The bill also includes $60 billion for other economic disaster loans for small businesses, with half of that amount reserved for community financial institutions and smaller banks and credit unions.

Wondering what new programs you should apply for? Unsure how to apply? Read on.

What Loan Program Should I Use?
Although the PPP has been the most popular loan program for small businesses, it may not be the right solution for every business. Be sure to check out other loan options from the Small Business Administration (SBA), other federal loan programs, and organizations and companies providing grant money.
Here are some new federal programs aimed at helping businesses impacted by coronavirus:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): This has been the most popular option for small business owners. It’s a loan, that can become a grant if certain requirements are met. It was designed to help businesses keep their employees on the payroll.

Details: Interest is to be no more than 4% and the amount applicants receive is based on a calculation of average monthly payroll cost multiplied by 2.5, to cover two and a half months of payroll (including healthcare costs and paid sick leave) with a maximum loan amount of $10 million.
Who is Eligible? Small businesses, 501 c3 nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees, certain veterans organizations, sole proprietors, the self-employed, individual contractors.

Ready to Apply? If you are a small business owner this step-by-step guide < https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-small-business-covid-19-emergency-loans > will walk you through the process. If you are an independent contractor or sole proprietor use this guide < https://www.uschamber.com/report/independent-contractors-guide-cares-act-relief >. If you are a nonprofit use this guide <https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/coronavirus-emergency-loans-guide-and-checklist-small-businesses-and-nonprofits >.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): The CARES Act expanded the SBA’s long-standing EIDL program, which assists businesses, renters, and homeowners in regions affected by declared disasters.
Details: The SBA will provide initial EIDL loan disbursements of up to $15,000, in addition to a grant of up to $10,000 that does not have to be paid back if used on certain expenses. However, if a small business owner gets both an EIDL grant and a PPP loan, the forgiveness of the PPP loan would be reduced by the amount of the grant.
Who is Eligible? Businesses with fewer than 500 employees; cooperatives, ESOPs, and tribal small businesses with fewer than 500 employees; sole proprietors; independent contractors; and most private nonprofits.
Ready to Apply? If you are a small business owner contact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and will walk you through the process. If you are an independent contractor or sole proprietor  < https://www.uschamber.com/report/independent-contractors-guide-cares-act-relief >.
Other New Federal Programs: In addition to loan programs, the CARES Act also expanded paid sick and family leave requirements and enacted a tax credit to provide further assistance to businesses.
Temporary Paid Leave and Family Medical Leave: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created new temporary paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs that are 100% reimbursable by the federal government. Check requirements, eligibility, and exemptions using this guide < https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-coronavirus-paid-leave-programs >.
Employee Retention Tax Credit: A 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including the employer portion of health benefits, for each eligible employee. Check eligibility and calculate your tax credit using this guide < https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-the-employee-retention-tax-credit >.