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There's No Such Thing as a Handshake Deal Right Now

Will shaking hands—and handshake deals—return when business gets back to normal?

As Ann Lovcik, foodservice energy efficiency consultant for CenterPoint Energy, put it on a call this morning, “there’s so much change that it feels like multiple weeks in one week.” So this is the what’s current today, and even though we have a COVID-19-centric issue coming out in two weeks, here’s what you need to know now:

Kim Brown, owner of KLB Insurance is advising all her clients to file a COVID-19 claim with their insurance carrier. While COVID-19 will not be covered in the policy, the denial from the insurance company can be used for Small Business Administration (SBA) loan applications. “I think that it will greatly speed up the process,” she said.

Upper Lakes Foods is postponing its spring food show originally scheduled for May 5 due to the current rules on large gatherings. The new date will be announced at a later time, once the foodservice industry is back up and running smoothly. 

Amy Brown and Heidi Andermack of Chowgirls Killer Catering are spearheading an effort to get caterers added to the deferred sales tax program the governor rolled out for restaurants and retail allowing them to remit sales tax on April 20, as opposed to the origianl deadline of  March 20. They are asking caterers—and anyone else who wants to take up the cause—to write or call the governor's office to have this oversight fixed. 

The Minnesota legislature has come up with $330 million in new aid, according to the StarTribune, which brings the state’s total response to the COVID-19 pandemic to more than $550 million.

This is in addition to the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Senate March 25, and by the House today (March 27) and signed by the President. Of the money, $350 billion will go to small businesses. A portion of the $500 billion slated for larger businesses will also go to state and local governments, according to Bloomberg

Individuals are eligible for checks up to $1,200 and married couples filing jointly are eligible for checks up to $2,400, with an extra $500 for each child. The higher the income, the less money is received, with a cutoff for individuals earning more than $99,000 and couples with income above $198,000.Even people with no income and those on Social Security will receive payments, Bloomberg reported.

The gig economy is expected to fare better under this bill as well, and third-party delivery drivers will be eligible to apply for unemployment.

To apply for SBA loans:

Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).Click here to apply.

Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.

The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. 

Government resources are being rolled out to the restaurant community and also to the rural community, including our beloved farmers.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put together a list of resources to help rural residents and businesses affected by COVID-19. Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and other help.

Before you go, I thought I’d share some beauty with you. Photograph John Yuccas of The Culinary Portfolio, who works primarily with restaurant clients, sent over his Winter Study. Here’s a link:


Who would think that seeing winter scenes when it’s 58 degrees out in March would be so soul-enriching. 

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