Barron’s: The Pandemic Has Swelled the Ranks of Zombie Companies. Here’s How to Recognize Them.

Barron’s: The Pandemic Has Swelled the Ranks of Zombie Companies. Here’s How to Recognize Them.. “With Halloween near, investors need to keep an eye out for zombies. The pandemic has boosted the number of zombie companies—unprofitable, cash-poor firms that rely on financial markets to cover their costs—reports money manager Principal Global Investors. In the first quarter, Principal found 18% of companies in the Bloomberg Total Return Index couldn’t cover interest costs with the previous year’s pretax earnings, up from a little more than 10% a year ago.”

New York Times: 9 of Every 10 Restaurants and Bars in N.Y.C. Can’t Pay Full Rent

New York Times: 9 of Every 10 Restaurants and Bars in N.Y.C. Can’t Pay Full Rent. “Nomad, a North African and Mediterranean restaurant in the East Village, shut down in March after the pandemic engulfed New York City, leaving its owner unable to pay the full $11,500 rent for months. After opening for outdoor dining in June, the owner, Mehenni Zebentout, has struggled to pay 70 to 80 percent of the rent. But he had to cut his staff from nine full-time employees to four part-time workers. And his landlord still wants Mr. Zebentout to pay what he owes from the spring.”

Government News (Australia): Database links government with startups

Government News (Australia): Database links government with startups. “The database contains publicly sourced information on more than 2,000 Victorian startups as well as data on venture capitalists, local accelerators, workspaces and universities. The data can be searched by sector, location or investment, and features a tool to ‘match’ startups with investors.”

CNN: These 63 Bed Bath & Beyond stores are set to close by the end of 2020

CNN: These 63 Bed Bath & Beyond stores are set to close by the end of 2020. “The news comes after the retailer announced in July that it would close roughly 200 stores, mainly Bed Bath & Beyond stores, over the next two years. The store chain also said last month that it would eliminate 2,800 jobs as it tries to streamline its operations and shore up its finances. The store chain, which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values, had a total of 1,478 stores as of May 30. Some 955 of those are Bed Bath & Beyond stores.”

Phys .org: How employers can soften the blow of furloughs and layoffs

Phys .org: How employers can soften the blow of furloughs and layoffs. “‘Softening the blow: Incorporating employee perceptions of justice into best practices for layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic’ suggests behavior-based policies leaders can apply when implementing furloughs or layoffs. Co-authors Isabel Bilotta, Shannon Cheng, Linnea Ng, Abby Corrington, Ivy Watson, Eden King and Mikki Hebl drew on previous research about perceptions of fairness to develop the recommendations.”

Los Angeles Times: ‘Tsunami’ of hotel closures is coming, experts warn

Los Angeles Times: ‘Tsunami’ of hotel closures is coming, experts warn. “The Luxe Rodeo Drive is the first high-end hotel in the Los Angeles area to go out of business because of the pandemic, and industry experts point to an unusually high loan delinquency rate among hotel borrowers as a sign that more closures are likely to follow. ‘We know there is a tsunami outside. We know it’s going to hit the beach. We just don’t know when,’ said Donald Wise, a commercial real estate expert and co-founder and senior managing director at Turnbull Capital Group.”

Christian Science Monitor: Once struggling, Britain’s corner shops give comfort to UK shoppers

Christian Science Monitor: Once struggling, Britain’s corner shops give comfort to UK shoppers. “For many years, there has been real concern that the heart and soul of Britain’s traditional towns and villages have been disappearing. Superstores expanded into almost every neighborhood, competing heavily on price and offering the convenience of everything under one roof. Now, the pandemic has shoppers abandoning the big supermarkets and out-of-town stores that had come to dominate the British retail landscape. And Dunorlan Park Stores is one of thousands of corner shops and independent stores that saw an overall 63% surge in trade at the peak of the lockdown in the United Kingdom, according to analyst firm Kantar. The question plaguing the big, billion-dollar grocers such as Tesco and Asda is whether this abrupt change might become permanent.”

News & Observer: With few visitors and some windows still boarded up, downtown Raleigh businesses struggle

News & Observer: With few visitors and some windows still boarded up, downtown Raleigh businesses struggle. “According to a survey of over 200 small business owners conducted by Shop Local Raleigh, a nonprofit that promotes local independent businesses, less than a third of small business owners believe their business will survive the pandemic. More than half replied that they’re not sure, while over 10% responded that their business won’t make it.”

CNBC: As Main Street crisis worsens, Facebook launches new small business platform

CNBC: As Main Street crisis worsens, Facebook launches new small business platform. “Facebook is increasing its focus on the small business community, launching a new interface called ‘Business Suite’ on Thursday which is targeted at small businesses that have struggled throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The platform is available exclusively to small businesses at launch, according to a release from the social media and advertising giant, but it will expand offerings to larger businesses next year.”

Washington Post: Trump’s businesses charged Secret Service more than $1.1 million, including for rooms in club shuttered for pandemic

Washington Post: Trump’s businesses charged Secret Service more than $1.1 million, including for rooms in club shuttered for pandemic. “President Trump’s luxury properties have charged the U.S. government more than $1.1 million in private transactions since Trump took office — including for room rentals at his Bedminster, N.J., club this spring while it was closed for the coronavirus pandemic, new documents show. The documents, including receipts and invoices from Trump’s businesses, were released by the Secret Service after The Washington Post filed a public-records lawsuit. They added $188,000 in previously unknown charges to The Post’s running total of payments to Trump’s properties related to the presence of Secret Service agents.”

NBC News: Almost 60 percent of business closures are now permanent, new Yelp data shows

NBC News: Almost 60 percent of business closures are now permanent, new Yelp data shows. “As of Aug. 31, 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed, a 23 percent increase since mid-July. Yelp also measures businesses whose closures have become permanent. That number has steadily increased over the past six months, now reaching 97,966, representing 60 percent of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.”

New York Times: Unable to Pay Rent, Small Businesses Hope for a Deal With Their Landlord

New York Times: Unable to Pay Rent, Small Businesses Hope for a Deal With Their Landlord. “In March, when the Boston restaurateur Garrett Harker and his partners shut down their seven restaurants after Massachusetts issued lockdown orders, Mr. Harker assumed the closures would be painful but temporary. Six months later, three of Mr. Harker’s restaurants, including the flagship Eastern Standard — once described as the ‘perfect restaurant’ by The Boston Globe’s food critic — remain shuttered. Mr. Harker and his landlord for those three restaurants are in a standoff: He can’t afford to pay the six-figure arrears he has accrued while his restaurants remain shut, and the landlord, he said, has refused to grant a deferral or discount.”

Trump Judge: COVID Business Closures Violate Employers’ Constitutional Rights (Slate)

Slate: Trump Judge: COVID Business Closures Violate Employers’ Constitutional Rights. “On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge William S. Stickman IV, a Donald Trump appointee, blocked Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 restrictions by relying on a combination of conservative dissents, bad precedent, and his own scientific acumen. Stickman appears to be on a mission to forcibly reopen the state—prematurely, in the view of its elected governor—by any means necessary.”

ProPublica: Emails Show the Meatpacking Industry Drafted an Executive Order to Keep Plants Open

ProPublica: Emails Show the Meatpacking Industry Drafted an Executive Order to Keep Plants Open. “Hundreds of emails offer a rare look at the meat industry’s influence and access to the highest levels of government. The draft was submitted a week before Trump’s executive order, which bore striking similarities.”

Washington Post: More than 200 meat plant workers in the U.S. have died of covid-19. Federal regulators just issued two modest fines.

Washington Post: More than 200 meat plant workers in the U.S. have died of covid-19. Federal regulators just issued two modest fines.. “Federal regulators knew about serious safety problems in dozens of the nation’s meat plants that became deadly coronavirus hot spots this spring but took six months to take action, recently citing two plants and finally requiring changes to protect workers. The financial penalties for a Smithfield Foods plant in South Dakota and a JBS plant in Colorado issued last week total about $29,000 — an amount critics said was so small that it would fail to serve as an incentive for the nation’s meatpackers to take social distancing and other measures to protect their employees.”