NJ Coronavirus Reopenings: What’s Open Now
What’s opening next. Here’s what you can – and can’t do – now that Gov. Murphy has announced several NJ reopenings amid the coronavirus. And here’s what’s next. Wanna go to the beach? Please do. Just get a beach badge before they run out. Looking forward to graduation? You’ll have to look forward to July, at the earliest. Need a haircut? You have a choice: Cut it yourself or wait another two weeks. New Jersey is reopening, albeit slowly, as the economy is finally restarting after a nearly three-month quarantine. Unlike other states that have opened by using color-shaded maps, Gov. Phil Murphy has bucked the trend in the coronavirus outbreak. Here’s not telling what’s opening until pretty close to the last minute.
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When Could N.J. State ‘Stage 3’ of Coronavirus Reopening?
What about bars, entertainment, indoor restaurants? New Jersey will move to ‘Stage 2’ of its coronavirus reopening plan on June 15, exactly four weeks after Gov. Phil Murphy revealed the multi-step strategy and announced that the first stage was already underway. When will the state hit Stage 3? When could bars, entertainment and critical in-office work resume? Could it be another four weeks after June 15? In short, there’s no set timetable and Murphy warned that any major resurgence in the outbreak could cause the state to reverse course. The multi-stage plan revealed last month originally listed in Stage 2 the reopening of indoor dining at “significantly reduced capacity,” but that was absent from the new graphic Murphy shared Monday. His spokesman did not immediately return a message Tuesday about whether that remains on the table or would now fall to the “expanded dining” listed in Stage 3
Applications for $45 Million NJEDA Grant Program
To open June 9. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that applications for the expanded Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available at 9:00 a.m. on June 9, 2020 in both English and Spanish. The $45 million program will provide grants up to $10,000 to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. A sample application that business owners can use to prepare is available in English, Spanish, and ten additional languages at https://cv.business.nj.gov. The NJEDA will provide grants up to $10,000 to a significantly broader range of businesses than were previously eligible. NJEDA staff will process the applications on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no application fee.
Bargain Hunters Take A Risk on Some Restaurants
Several concepts have found buyers, albeit at low prices. Last week, the bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien filed for federal bankruptcy protection so it could sell itself to Aurify Brands for the modest sum of $3 million, a price that is even more modest when you consider that it amounts to less than $86,000 per restaurant—Aurify is only buying 35 of the chain’s 98 locations. The good news, however, is that there was a deal at all. As states closed dining rooms and restaurant sales fell off a cliff, there was active speculation that there would be a massive flurry of bankruptcies and a lack of available financing or even buyers. Many restaurants that at one point have been seen as potential complete shutdowns have found saviors who acquired their debt and then agreed to credit deals to acquire the companies out of bankruptcy.
Drive Up for Takeout Dining
A restaurant owner offers carhop service. With business tanking from the pandemic at his two diner-style restaurants in Chester County, Mohamed “Mo” Maaty looked at the big picture. He had large, unusable dining rooms and large, little-used kitchens turning out takeout food. He also had large parking lots. Since everybody drives to Happy Day’s Family Bistro, in Thorndale, and to Bistro 24, in Exton, why not serve customers in their cars in the parking lot? Borrowing a classic motif from the Sonic Drive-In chain and Philadelphia-area independents like Weber’s, Speck’s, Stewart’s, and Castle Harbor, Maaty reopened his restaurants two weeks ago as drive-ins, hiring back waitresses —whose uniforms are satin poodle skirts ordered from Amazon — and got to work.
Vegas Casino Says $1.1B Policy
Covers COVID-19 losses. A Las Vegas casino and resort has sued its insurer, alleging that it wrongfully denied coverage for its COVID-19 pandemic losses and claiming that it should get up to $1.1 billion in reimbursement because damages from the “communicable disease” are covered under its policy. Treasure Island LLC claimed that the presence of the novel coronavirus in its casino and resort has triggered coverage under its “all risk” policy with Affiliated FM Insurance Co in a suit filed Thursday in Nevada federal court. The resort added that the insurer specifically said in an April letter that COVID-19 is a “communicable disease,” the cleanup of which is covered under its policy, but denied its claim for coverage by citing a virus contamination exclusion. “AFM contends that COVID-19 is both a covered communicable disease and an excluded virus. Obviously, the insurer cannot have it both ways and its attempt to do so reveals a conflict in the policy and is contrary to settled Nevada law,” Michael Levine, an attorney representing Treasure Island, told Law360 on Monday.
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Did You Know?
N.J. churches will soon be allowed to hold larger indoor services. Churches and other houses of worship in New Jersey will likely be allowed to hold larger services indoors as early as the weekend of June 12, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday as he laid out more moves to gradually reopen from coronavirus lockdowns. Indoor gatherings at churches in the state have been limited to 10 people since Murphy issued his stay-at-home order March 21 to help curb the virus’s spread. As the governor has peeled back his restrictions in recent weeks, churches have been permitted to offer drive-in services and now outdoor services with a limit of 25 people.
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These stimulus proposals that could put more money in your wallet. Many Americans want another round of $1,200 stimulus checks. Other ideas call for giving Americans $2,000 per month or $450 per week to go back to work. Millions of Americans are suffering financially amid the gradual reopening of the U.S. economy. And there are multiple ways the U.S. government could extend more relief. The question is which one it will choose — and exactly how much cash could end up in your wallet. Among the proposals are another one-time round of $1,200 stimulus checks or sending Americans $2,000 per month. Some Republicans have pushed for $450 a week in so-called back-to-work bonuses. Meanwhile, others are pushing to extend the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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Thank you and remember all of the “Restaurant Industry Alerts” and “Thursday Restaurant Rap” interviews can be found at www.njrestaurantsforsale.com/news/. We intend to continue to keep you informed as we all look for an end to this crisis.
How to market your restaurant for sale during the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, it will be challenging to market and sell businesses that have temporarily been shuttered during the pandemic, because valuations are based on historical financial data. However, whether you choose to reopen your business or not, owners can still position them for sale. So, what should you do if you want to sell in the next 6 – 12 months? Contact a good business broker that specializes in the sale of hospitality real estate and businesses. Bielat Santore & Company, Allenhurst, NJ has been brokering such sales for over 40 years and will be able to help you come up with flexible deal structures and capital sources to make a sale possible; call for a free consultation – 732.531.4200.