New York Times: ‘Bleak Friday’ for Stores as Pandemic Pushes Holiday Shopping Online

New York Times: ‘Bleak Friday’ for Stores as Pandemic Pushes Holiday Shopping Online. “Analysts at Morgan Stanley estimated that retailers’ overall Black Friday sales fell 20 percent from last year, based on early reports of drops in store foot traffic and increases in online sales. Consumers spent $9 billion online on Friday, a 21.6 increase from last year and the second-biggest figure for online retailers ever, according to Adobe Analytics, which scans 80 percent of online transactions across the top 100 U.S. web retailers. The firm said online sales rose to $23.5 billion in the four-day Thanksgiving-to-Sunday period, up 23 percent from last year.”

Daily Beast: Meat-Plant Workers Slam Rogue Colorado Officials Over Refusal to Enforce COVID Rules

Daily Beast: Meat-Plant Workers Slam Rogue Colorado Officials Over Refusal to Enforce COVID Rules. “Meat-plant workers in Colorado condemned local leaders on Wednesday for refusing to enforce new state-directed COVID-19 safety restrictions, even after hitting a ‘level red’ designation over the region’s spiraling increase in coronavirus cases and dire hospital situation.”

Washington Post: How a $17 billion bailout fund intended for Boeing ended up in very different hands

Washington Post: How a $17 billion bailout fund intended for Boeing ended up in very different hands. “The Trump administration has used a $17 billion loan fund meant for businesses critical to U.S. national security to help a hodgepodge of little-known companies with unclear importance to national defense, and the fund remains mostly unspent nearly eight months after Congress approved it as part of a $2 trillion stimulus bill.”

Washington Post: A Trump donor’s company got a 3 percent federal pandemic loan. It sells title loans at a 350 percent annual rate.

Washington Post: A Trump donor’s company got a 3 percent federal pandemic loan. It sells title loans at a 350 percent annual rate.. “A company owned by a major donor to President Trump that operates auto-title loan stores with names such as LoanStar and Moneymax secured a $25 million low-interest loan from a government pandemic aid program, using what consumer advocates describe as a loophole to a rule designed to prevent most lenders from getting this federal help.”

The Economic Impacts of COVID-19: Evidence from a New Public Database Built Using Private Sector Data (Opportunity Insight)

Opportunity Insight: The Economic Impacts of COVID-19: Evidence from a New Public Database Built Using Private Sector Data. “We build a publicly available database that tracks economic activity at a granular level in real time using anonymized data from private companies. We report daily statistics on consumer spending, business revenues, employment rates, and other key indicators disaggregated by ZIP code, industry, income group, and business size. Using these data, we study how COVID-19 affected the economy by analyzing heterogeneity in its impacts.”

CNN: Guitar Center is filing for bankruptcy

CNN: Guitar Center is filing for bankruptcy. “The 61-year-old company — the biggest musical instrument retailer in the United States — had tried to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic by offering virtual music lessons. But Guitar Center was forced to close many of its stores in March during nationwide lockdowns, and it struggled to get customers to buy instruments as the economy headed south.”

Eater DC: Crowdfunding Donations Pour In to Save a Halal Grill in D.C. Famous for Feeding Homeless People

Eater DC: Crowdfunding Donations Pour In to Save a Halal Grill in D.C. Famous for Feeding Homeless People. “Sakina Halal Grill owner Kazi Mannan has a lot to be thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches this year. Just last week, the South Asian restaurant in downtown D.C. was on the ropes, and Mannan was prepared to lock up for good. In a last ditch effort, Mannan launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe on Thursday, November 12. Over its first six days, the fund raised more than $237,000 toward a $250,000 goal.”

Washington Post: D.C. launches $100 million grant program for hard-hit businesses

Washington Post: D.C. launches $100 million grant program for hard-hit businesses. “The D.C. government has launched a new program that will allocate $100 million in grant funding to local businesses, a fresh injection of cash officials hope will help carry the city’s hardest-hit industries through the coronavirus pandemic.”

‘Thanksgiving To Go’: Americans splash out on takeaways (BBC)

BBC: ‘Thanksgiving To Go’: Americans splash out on takeaways. “As officials warn against travel and in some places bar gatherings of more than 10 people due to the pandemic, the limits have raised questions about the impact on Thanksgiving, normally one of the biggest holidays in the US and a generator of billions of dollars in travel and food sales. Among poultry producers, the likelihood that smaller gatherings this year could loosen loyalty to the traditional turkey dinner has raised fears of a surplus of the fowl, especially of larger birds.”

Wall Street Journal: Hundreds of Companies That Got Stimulus Aid Have Failed

Wall Street Journal: Hundreds of Companies That Got Stimulus Aid Have Failed. “About 300 companies that received as much as half a billion dollars in pandemic-related government loans have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of government data and court filings. Many of the companies, which employ a total of about 23,400 workers, say the funds from the Paycheck Protection Program weren’t enough to keep them going as the coronavirus and lack of additional stimulus payments weighed on their businesses.”

A missing ingredient in COVID oversight: Equity (Brookings)

Brookings: A missing ingredient in COVID oversight: Equity. “The health and economic crises – and in some cases, the government response to them – have not only been felt more acutely in particular businesses and industries. They have also disproportionately hurt black- and minority-owned businesses and the communities they serve. As experts at watchdog organizations as well as our own respective organizations have pointed out, transparency and oversight are essential to ensuring a fair recovery that meets the needs of those who are struggling the most.”

NBC News: Beloved businesses are going bankrupt waiting for federal help. It will get worse

NBC News: Beloved businesses are going bankrupt waiting for federal help. It will get worse. “The election may be over, but the White House and Capitol Hill are no closer to terms on a new Covid-19 relief plan. And even if a deal is reached, it’s far too late to help save as many as 100,000 small businesses that have been forced to close while waiting for more help, like The Funky Sister. Neighborhood shops around the country are in mortal danger every day Washington fails to act.”

Washington Post: Treasury emergency aid loan goes to airline backed by Amazon and Apollo, showing government’s long reach

Washington Post: Treasury emergency aid loan goes to airline backed by Amazon and Apollo, showing government’s long reach. “The Treasury Department has lent $45 million to an airline backed by both e-commerce giant Amazon and Apollo Global Management, a massive private equity firm that has benefited from at least one other government bailout earlier this year. The airline, Sun Country, had planned to go public this year as a way to raise large amounts of money, but those plans were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.”