Due to a resurgence of the Coronavirus around both the US and the world, new measures have been put into effect to help cut its spread. Take the state of Ohio for example, as of Thursday, November 19, 2020, a curfew will be put into effect from 10pm EST to 5am EST for a 3 week period.
There are exceptions to the curfew, e.g. going to or coming from work, emergencies as well as grocery shopping, each case is said to be dealt with on an individual basis.
As a result of this, a new hashtag, #WeCantClose, put together by responsible businesses in Cleveland, Ohio, is using it to garner support for not closing down retail businesses. For most businesses, if they were to close a second time, this could be the end for their life’s work and means of supporting themselves, their families and our communities.
As an example, within 2 months time, the National Restaurant Association has reported that nearly 100,000 business have closed. (Source: https://restaurant.org/news/pressroom/press-releases/100000-restaurants-closed-six-months-into-pandemic)
With the restaurant industry being touted as the 2nd largest, in terms of hospitality towards consumers, in order to help save the industry, a plan has been put together which after looking at it, in our opinion, could be of benefit to their industry and perhaps other industries as well. Aspects of the plan are outlined below and more info can be found at: https://restaurant.org/manage-my-restaurant/business-operations/covid19/restaurant-industry-blueprint-for-revival)
SHORT-TERM RELIEF TO RESTART THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY
Create a Restaurant Recovery Fund for structured relief to help restaurants get the liquidity they need, adapt, rehire and eventually reopen. This includes passage of the RESTAURANTS Act proposed by the Senate.
Build on the success of PPP by enacting a second round of application eligibility to initial eight-week loan recipients and make other changes to help extend and sustain this successful program.
Make PPP loans tax deductible so that small businesses can deduct eligible expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan, and eliminate the substantial tax liability many face for taking these loans in the first place.
Establish a long-term loan program beyond PPP so restaurants can rehire, retrain and retain valued employees by providing up to six-months of operating costs and additional support.
Expand the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) to help restaurants get support after a PPP loan has run out.
Improve Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) by replenishing funding for EIDLs and advance grants to support businesses with major revenue reductions due to COVID-19.
Provide customer and employee wellness tax credits to help with significant capital investments for employee and guest safety.
Address Business Interruption insurance claims for small businesses with a federal backstop to cover losses due to a pandemic and so that insurance remains available and affordable.
Provide Liability Protection for American Businesses because COVID-19 is a global pandemic and is not caused or spread by any one type of business or employee. Congress should enact temporary and targeted protections to stem frivolous or fraudulent lawsuits, but allow claims based on willful misconduct by bad actors.
As always, there are skeptics and critics, as well as supporters alike on both sides. In terms, of helping people, time will as to if and what can be done to help people on the individual level as well as those with businesses.
Be safe, and take care. We hope only the best for everyone.