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The [Monday] Papers

I Zoomed with a bunch of college friends last night - it was the second time for the core of us - and it was so much fun. I highly recommend it. And if you can, use a laptop or desktop instead of a phone, because apparently on a phone you can't see the whole gallery of folks on the call, and that's half the fun. (And yes, I know Zoom has security issues. Still.)

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PPP Tape
"Small business owners across Chicago have been shut out of the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, commonly referred to as the PPP loan," Block Club Chicago reports.

And not just Chicago - all across America!

"The program was launched as part of the $2 trillion federal stimulus package to help small businesses survive the coronavirus crisis. The loans are forgivable if used for payroll and other agreed-upon costs."

A new round of funding is likely to pass through Congress this week, but in the meantime small business folks are needlessly suffering.

"When the program was announced, an arms race erupted between the haves and have nots. Those who had access to resources - accountants, attorneys, reliable and trustworthy lenders - were able to get their applications filed early. Small business owners without those resources were left scrambling, trying to navigate the process with limited knowledge and means.

"Bigger companies 'used up the funding, leaving little left for those without the resources to apply immediately,'" a local accountant told BCC.

To wit:

"Ruth's Chris Steak House has long been known for its beefy portions, including a 22- ounce rib-eye. But lately, the upscale chain is getting more attention for the size of the loan it got through the government's small business aid program," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Even though loans are generally capped at $10 million, Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc. was able to qualify for $20 million under a provision that allowed it to seek loans for each of two subsidiaries."

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"At least two other restaurant chains took advantage of that provision, public filings and interviews show. Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão Inc. also got $20 million, and casual-dining company J. Alexander's Holdings Inc. received $15.1 million."

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Also: Shake Shack, which we can now call Shamed Shack.

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And Chicago's own Potbelly.

"Sandwich chain Potbelly Corp., which had sales last year of $410 million and employed 6,000 people, also received $10 million," Bloomberg reports.

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Here's Potbelly CEO Alan Johnson. He's the one on the right.

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EPeeA
"Chicago's Southeast Environmental Task Force and Clean Power Lake County are among the plaintiffs that have joined the National Resource Defense Council in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rollback of reporting and monitoring requirements during the coronavirus pandemic," WTTW-TV reports.

On March 26, citing the COVID-19 outbreak, the EPA issued a memo that relaxed enforcement of "environmental legal obligations" related to monitoring, integrity testing, sampling, laboratory analysis, training, and reporting or certification, retroactive to March 13.

"The agency stated in the memo it would not seek penalties for violations in situations in which COVID-19 is determined to have been the cause of the noncompliance.

"Environmental organizations at both the national and local level denounced the action, which permits a company to document its noncompliance and the reason for it 'internally' and inform EPA about it later. NRDC has dubbed the memo a 'free pass for polluters.'"

Relaxing pollution regulations during a pandemic of a deadly respiratory illness is like, I dunno, cutting off funding to WHO during a pandemic.

Wait, that happened?

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Trump has often claimed to be an environmentalist, at least once citing as proof that as a developer he had filed many environmental impact statements.

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You could hardly do a better job of destroying America than Trump is doing if you actually tried. It really makes you wonder if he's not the world's greatest enemy infiltrator.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

The Universe Is Meaningless
Sorry, folks, it's physics all the way down.

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ChicagoReddit

With no pollution the Chicago skyline is crystal clear, even in a phone shot, across Lake Michigan from New Buffalo, Michigan. from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago Metallic 9" x 13" Slice Solutions Brownie Pan on QVC.

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BeachBook

A Beloved Bar Owner Was Skeptical About The Virus. Then He Took A Cruise.

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How Tobacco Companies Led A Devastating 50-Year Infiltration Into Black Communities.

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Are Basketball Superstars More Loyal To Their Sneaker Companies Than Their Teams, And This Is Really A Statement Not A Question.

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Why Has It Always Been So Hard To Fight The Common Cold?

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Competitive Marble Racing Finds Fans In A World Missing Sports.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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Meanwhile . . .

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The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: Ahoy.



Permalink

Posted on April 20, 2020


MUSIC - 🚨 Michael McDonald Alert.
TV - Comic-Con 2020: Fans vs. Critics.
POLITICS - When Bigotry Masquerades As Choice.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: The Bears' Bad Day.

BOOKS - Searching For The World's Largest Owl.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Tao Is To Chill.


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