Court Tosses PA Shutdown Mandate

In the first such decision rendered since the coronavirus pandemic first struck the U.S. back in March, a federal court in Pittsburgh ruled early this week that a statewide shutdown and stay-at-home order issued by the governor of Pennsylvania is unconstitutional. U.S. District Court judge William Stickman IV found that despite being well-intentioned, the order…

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Maryland Mini-WARN Law Coming Too

Another law taking effect on October 1 is in the state of Maryland. The state’s Mini-WARN act, which Governor Larry Hogan allowed to become law without his signature back in May of this year. Senate bill 780, which now mandates compliance with the formerly voluntary Maryland Economic Stabilization Act, requires that employers that implement a…

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Two Months Late, New Jersey Opens Indoor Dining

At long last, New Jersey restaurants can reopen for indoor dining beginning today across the Garden State. At the beginning of the week, Governor Phil Murphy announced on Twitter that restaurants will be allowed to function at 25% of capacity beginning at 6 AM today. The state originally planned to allow 25% capacity indoor dining…

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Competitor News

Krispy Kreme announced this week that the company’s new flagship store in New York’s  Times Square is slated to open on September 15. The store was originally scheduled to open back in June of 2019, but that opening was delayed for months until May of this year when the coronavirus pandemic pushed it off further.…

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Granting Small Business $urvival

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, states and local communities are taking dramatically different approaches to helping small businesses recover from the shutdown and the general economic turmoil that the pandemic has yielded. In that vein, several have announced small business grant and loan programs in the past (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and…

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Other State Issues to Note

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont last week issued an Executive Order that creates a rebuttable presumption in the Nutmeg State that any employee who contracts the COVID-19 virus likely did so in their workplace. In such an instance, the employer has every right to deny the worker’s claim however under the language of EO 7JJJ, the…

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Virginia Increasing Restaurant Inspections, Fines

The state of Virginia, which in 2019 became a democrat trifecta state for the first time, this week became the first state to adopt an emergency workplace standard specific to the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Ralph Northam announced a new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which mandates that workers be provided with personal protective equipment this week.…

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Paying for the Pandemic in Cities

City governments are constantly lamenting the loss of tax and other revenues and are now mapping plans to restore their revenue streams whether there’s more federal money or not. Too often, that means increased taxes for the business community.  As a case in point, amid widespread opposition, the DC Council preliminarily approved a FY21 budget…

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Independent Joe #62 May/June 2020

What a difference a day makes. Or to update that rhetorical message, what a difference three months makes. Yes, it was just three short months ago when states like Florida, Texas, Arizona and a host of others across the south and southwest were seemingly enjoying some inexplicable level of immunity from the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses…

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Battered by the Pandemic, Franchisees Adapt and Innovate

In late May, with cities and states loosening shelter-in-place restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Dunkin’ Brands announced it was ready to examine how to best reopen its seating areas. In a blog post dated May 29, Dunkin’ wrote, “We are now exploring the most judicious ways to once again offer in-restaurant dining,” emphasizing,…

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