A Survival Guide for Businesses & Individuals Impacted by Forced Closures

Posted In: News, , State,   From Issue 893   By: Robert E Martin

14th March, 2020     0

For those on the government payroll, or those receiving regular social security, disability, or welfare checks, at least they still have an income stream. But without doubt the ones hit hardest by the forced closure of bars, restaurants, and theatres are the small business owners, employees, and other segments of the Travel, Dining & Entertainment industry that suddenly find themselves in ‘survival mode’, without a paycheck coming in or revenue streams severely reduced for the next two weeks (and possibly longer). 

In a press release from Saginaw Future issued on Monday, Mar. 16th; and in the aftermath of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issuing an executive order closing all bars, restaurants, theatres, and museums with gatherings over 250 people, the Governor also issued an executive order to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits - under the order, an employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations. 

Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA  or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can be found here

The order also expands the State’s Work Share program. Employers are encouraged to implement the program that permits employers to maintain operational productivity during declines in regular business activity instead of laying off workers. More information about Work Share can be found here

Additional unemployment resources for employees can be found here and for workers here

To view executive order 2020-10, click the link below: 

EO 2020-10.pdf

On the federal level, Congress passed legislation that makes $1 billion available to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide low-interest loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The governor has informed SBA that she is seeking an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration for the state and has initiated the process to receive the declaration from SBA. Once granted, small businesses in qualifying areas will be able to access low-interest loans through the SBA. 

In the interim, small businesses that could benefit from SBA loans should start collecting the information they’ll need to complete and submit their application. Examples of information needed can be found here. For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application in advance of the declaration, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit or Grand Rapids.

The governor has also requested that President Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration so that Individual Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance through FEMA may be made available to additional Michiganders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website: www.michiganbusiness.org or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/ for additional information.

Bi-Partisan Socialism at Work • $1.5 Trillion for Wall Street, $850 Billion for the 99%

As the Federal Reserve sunk $1.5 trillion in to Wall Street to reinforce the cash liquidity of businesses in a bailout unequaled since that of Lehman Brothers & the 2008 Credit Default SWOP crisis, a plan to give each adult American $1,000 is picking up steam in Congress after Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) supported the idea on Monday, along with Sen. Tom Cotton who says he's working on legislation that would include cash stipends.

The plan is also backed by several House Democrats, who believe putting cold, hard cash in the hands of American consumers will mitigate the ongoing collapse in consumption due to the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic, according to Bloomberg.

Among economists, the idea of across-the-board cash handouts as a response to the epidemic has been rapidly gaining support. That’s mainly because the scale of the shock has become much clearer, as swaths of the economy -- from air travel to bars and restaurants -- essentially shut down.

As a result, analysts worry that some of the virus-relief proposals already in the pipeline will be too narrow. 

Several prominent economists have backed the stimulus check plan, including President George W. Bush's economic adviser Gregory Mankiw and his Harvard colleague Jason Furman. In a Monday blog post, Mankiw wrote that many Americans have little to no savings, and it's hard to identify the "truly needy," which makes blanket handouts ideal in the current crisis.

"Sending every American a $1000 check asap would be a good start," he wrote. The collapse in consumption was pointed out this week by Goldman Sachs, which cut US Q2 GDP expectations to -5%, down from its previous forecast of 0%.

Today, Tuesday, Mar. 17th, after unveiling a plan for the Fed to work with the Treasury to provide $1 trillion in liquidity to the commercial paper market, Mnuchin added that he's working with Congress to plan a "big" rescue package for the public. He wouldn't give an exact figure, but did suggest that it might be larger than the $850 billion figure cited in the press.

President Trump wants this legislation passed by the end of the week at the latest, and will likely move ahead with sending checks to Americans within the next two weeks as part of the "very significant" package that will be presented to Congress today.

Payments should be looked as “business interruption payments” for Americans, Mnuchin said. Asked who would receive the checks, Trump said most Americans would, though those making "a million dollars a year" probably wouldn't.

"We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly,” he added. The plan will also include money for small businesses, as well as loan guarantees to airlines and tourism companies.

“We don’t want airlines going out of business," Mnuchin said, adding that this crisis was "worse than 9/11" for the airlines.

Speaking of 9/11, Mnuchin insisted he wanted to set one thing straight before running off to Capitol Hill: The Treasury Secretary insisted that the market would not close because of the coronavirus, and that banks would stay open, even if they instituted shorter hours.

"The only reason the market closed after 9/11 was because the technology was disrupted...but Americans should know, we are going to do everything to make sure that Americans will have access to the money in their stocks, in their 401(k)s and their portfolios," Mnuchin said.

That said, $1,000 isn't going to make people get on an airplane, go to a restaurant, gamble in a casino or stay in a hotel - though it's enough for a month or two of food for a small family, or help with rent or a mortgage.

Democratic Representatives Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California are proposing to send checks to Americans who earn less than $65,000, which would mean approximately two-thirds of households would qualify. Those checks would range from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on income.

….and on a final note

MIT biologist Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, does research almost every day into the immune system. He says the fear-mongering being pedaled will go down in history as one of the biggest frauds to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, & push for greater government control of our freedoms. 

He linked to a tweet by President Trump which reads, The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, “The risk is low to the average American.”

“One does have to wonder what the truth is,” continued Ayyadurai.  “It is seriously negatively impacting capitalism. It’s a bad virus, but we can’t shut down the entire world every time there is a pandemic. Congress just closed to visitors, the NBA closed down after a player contracted the virus, travel from Europe, China, and Iran is banned, schools are closing, the Stock Market is crashing although it’s partly due to the oil war, and there is more. All this will seriously harm the capitalist economies.”

“Having lived through Swine flu, H1N1 and the constant threat of cases of flu (I had Swine flu and have a compromised immune system), I have never seen such an extreme reaction. We can’t do this every flu season," he concludes.





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