April 14, 2020

The Long Easter weekend is over and the winds have blown through AVL bringing fresh air and hope. Generally, the virus numbers are plateauing and dropping all across the Nation and there is a lot of noise from all levels about opening up the Country for business. All good news, so take today to figure out how you plan to reopen your business while thinking about the possible restrictions that will more than likely be required to be followed by public facing businesses.

PPP and SBA Loan Data TrackerCheck out the COVID Loan Tracker, which was created by a group of small business owners to track and report on the Government’s progress in providing PPP and SBA loans. As explained by the creators, the purpose is “to help other small business owners like us, we created a survey to better understand how many loans have been paid.”

East And West – So, 7 Northeastern States have formed some sort of alliance to address the issue of opening up their respective States for business. The 7 States are: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Delaware and Rhode Island. Similarly, the Western Coast States have also formed a type of alliance to work together to open their States for business. The West Coast States are: Washington, Oregon and California. While the USA is a Republic, there are Constitutional restrictions on the ability of States to “enter into any treaty, alliance ,or confederation” as well as “without the consent of Congress” to “enter into any agreement or compact with another state.” U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 10. The Commerce Clause, which has interpreted expansively to justify all types of regulatory behavior by the Federal Government, also plainly gives Congress power over interstate commerce by plainly stating that: “The Congress shall have power . . . [t]o regulate commerce . . . among the several states . . . .” U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 8. In addition to the Constitution, all State and the Federal Governments have declared a State of emergency, which changes the usual dynamics of Federalism. Regardless of the intent behind these alliances, it is clear that the law is in on the side of the Federal Government.

Farmer AidThe U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend up to $15.5 billion in the initial phase of its plan to bolster the nation’s food supply chain against the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Buncombe County Medical DataAs of 2 p.m. on April 13 there have been a total of 38 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe County residents, of which 34 of these individuals have recovered from their illness and been released from isolation. Sadly, there now have been 3 deaths associated with COVID-19 in Buncombe County residents. Thus, there is one Buncombe County resident that has tested positive and not recovered or died.

Data, Models and NC – It is clear that, given the substantial revisions of all the models, they were initially unreliable. A discussion regarding this may be appropriate at some later date, but right now the issue is whether the “brief” prepared by the experts for Governor Cooper is worthy of reliance by the Governor.

Remote PitchingZoe Chambers of Octopus Ventures has a quick article providing useful suggestions to start-ups for remote pitching.

Economic Impact Payments (i.e., Stimulus Checks) – The IRS has started making the payments via direct deposit and will continue to as time proceeds. If you file taxes, but do not think the IRS has your bank information to make a direct deposit to your account, then visit the IRS website (starting mid-April).

Creating Virtual EventsFirst Round Review has an interview with David Spinks, VP of Community at Bevy (a community platform powering event programs for companies like Salesforce, Atlassian and Duolingo) about building a virtual community through webinars and virtual events.

PPP Update – I received an email from the SBA NC District Director with the following information: as of April 13, 2020 more than 1 million loans have been approved nationally for a total of almost $248 billion; and in North Carolina, 23,786 loans have been authorized resulting in the approval of more than $5.7 billion.