April 23, 2020

A little rain this morning to keep you indoors. Take the time to develop or revise your plan to reopen your business in the near future. Reports are now starting to come in of small businesses permanently closing. We are at a precipice and we need to reopen before more permanent damage is done.

Permanent Closings Begin – Fermented Nonsense, a nanobrewery in Arden, has decided to close permanently. Although it was a small, less known brewery, the lockdown is affecting all breweries including well known ones such as Catawba Brewing Co. This may be the first to be reported, but it will not be the last unless we end the lockdown, and, even then, there will be lasting damage.

Burger Bar – As we all know, every single business is impacted by the lockdown, especially bars and restaurants. An Asheville institution, Burger Bar, is on the ropes of closing permanently, which would be a loss to Asheville. They are selling hot dogs outside of the bar from 2 to 10pm to make money to survive. In addition, they have created a GoFundMe campaign to raise $10,000. Get some hot dogs for dinner or throw a couple of bucks their way on the GoFundMe site.

Furloughed Employees In NC – On Tuesday, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 134 allowing furloughed employees to be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you have been furloughed, you should talk to your employer about the requirements to make a claim.

PPP Update – In anticipation of the second round of funding for PPP loans, the Treasury Department has reportedly issued guidance to stop the PPP loans from going to large companies. Today, the House is to consider and vote on a bill approving the second round of funding for PPP loans as well as further funding for EIDL by the SBA.

ReOpen NCGov. Cooper is expected to discuss the reopening of NC during his press conference this afternoon at 3pm.

NC Senator Wiley Nickel Thinks You Are An IdiotState Senator Wiley Nickel, representing Western Wake County, called those wanting to ReOpen NC idiots and a small fringe group. Nice to know what some politicians think of you for wanting yourself, your family and your business to survive. Will Marsh is running against Senator Nickel for the State Senate seat in District 16 in the election this November.

ReOpen NC Not – I watched the Governor’s presser, and the statewide lockdown is extended to May 8. If, by that date, we reach various metrics and other goals, then we enter Phase 1 of the reopening which continues the lockdown for another 2 to 3 weeks although you are permitted to leave for commercial purposes. Retail stores and services will be allowed to open with restrictions. No bars and restaurants allowed to open during this Phase 1. After Phase 1, then Phase 2 is put in place for 4 to 6 weeks. During Phase 2, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open but with occupancy restrictions. Thus, provided the Governor’s office is satisfied with various trends and goals, it will be the beginning of June before you are allowed to open your bar. Then you have to survive for 4 to 6 weeks on reduced revenue (because you are not allowed a capacity crowd). If you survive all of that, you will then be allowed to fully open your bar. That will be mid-July.

NC Schools – The Governor stated that he will have another presser tomorrow regarding the opening or, more likely, closing of schools. The lockdown is now until May 8, at which time (if all is well in the Governor’s mind) we will move to Phase 1 for 2 to 3 weeks. Phase 1 prohibits the gathering of more than 10 people. Schools are set to open May 18, 10 days into Phase1. But, if gatherings of people must be 10 or less people, then how can schools start to hold classes on May 18. I think that answers the question of what the Governor is to announce tomorrow regarding the reopening of schools.

NC UnemploymentAnother 14,000 new claims for unemployment were made last week. Thus, 719,452 unemployment claims have been made in NC since March 15. Of those less than 40% of all claims have been paid (total of 281,050 people have been paid).

PPP Update – To receive the PPP loans, companies must certify that the funds are necessary and there is no other source of money. Public companies obviously have other sources of funds. Thus, it appears that any and all public companies that received a PPP loan will have to return the money.