It has been a busy day of news relevant to restaurant owners. In addition to Pennsylvania’s governor escalating mask-wearing to mandatory law across the state, there are several additional headlines that restaurant owners across the country should not miss. Our analysis continues below.
“My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Wearing a mask shows that you care about others, and that you are committed to protecting the lives of those around you,” says Governor Tom Wolf.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed an extension of the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Originally scheduled to expire yesterday, the new deadline for applicants such as restaurant owners is now August 8, 2020. Senators voted unanimously.
The program had over $138 billion in remaining funds. With Senators scheduled to go on summer recess amid rising cases of COVID-19, and with no sign of employment recovery across the economy, there was no Congressional resistance to extending the timeframe for utilizing the balance.
PPP loans are intended to encourage small business owners to maintain their workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. If they expend at least 60% of the PPP loan on payroll within 24 weeks and satisfy other minor conditions, the entire principal can be forgiven, converting the loan into a cash grant retroactively that the owner simply keeps.
PPP is funded with a total $659 billion, of which the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $520 billion to date in 4,856,647 loans averaging $107,199 apiece. Read our earlier analysis of PPP here.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has postponed the commencement of indoor dining at NYC restaurants. Originally scheduled for July 6 as part of a Phase 3 reopening, with coronavirus cases surging to all-time highs, indoor dining is postponed indefinitely across the city.
“We cannot go ahead at this point in time with indoor dining in New York City,” said de Blasio at a press conference today. “Look, even a week ago, honestly I was hopeful that we could. But the news we’ve gotten from around the country gets worse and worse.”
In the U.S., the CDC has tracked 43,644 new cases today, totaling 2.6 million cases and 127,299 deaths. Worldwide, 173,675 new cases of COVID-19 were added today, totaling 10.5 million cases and 512,704 deaths.
To mitigate the ongoing financial difficulties for restaurants, Mayor de Blasio promised to allow full service restaurants to expand outdoor dining. “I’m very convinced we can help restaurants survive, but we have to do it safely, and do it outdoors,” he explained. Mayor de Blasio has updated his “Open Streets” plan at nyc.gov/openrestaurants beyond his original 60 miles of pavement.
Mayor de Blasio has permitted outdoor dining in NYC since June 22.
Effective immediately, California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered restaurant dining rooms to close across Los Angeles for three weeks, corroborating an earlier scoop from Eater. Newsom has ordered closures in the following counties, which are home to over 70% of Californians.
This afternoon, in an effort to discourage congregating on beaches during the July 4 holiday, Newsom additionally confirmed that he will close parking facilities this weekend at state beaches across Los Angeles/southern California and San Francisco/Bay Area. He added, “COVID19 does not take 4th of July off. Avoid crowds. Do not gather with people you do not live with. Wear a mask. Physically distance. Be smart. Do your part.”