Our Blog

COVID 19 Update 64

Post: May. 19, 2020

Cuomo: Western New York Phase One Industries Can Open Today

The Western New York region has now hit all seven metrics needed to begin phase one of reopening the economy. Phase one businesses in Western New York are eligible to reopen tomorrow, May 19, 2020.

The Governor has said that there will be two weeks between phases as a general rule, but if the data indicates a region can move faster or slower, they can adjust the timeline.

The Governor is advising major sports teams to plan to reopen without fans. The State will offer logistical assistance to these teams to address problems associated with resuming games. In response to a question from a reporter, the Governor said that franchises will have to examine whether its financially viable to hold games without fans. The State will work with teams to help them through the process.

Read the press release

Visit the reopening metrics dashboard

NAM Monday Economic Report: Mfg Activity, Mfg Jobs and Job Losses, Retail Spending, Inflation Number and More

With each week, the full extent of the economic damage from COVID-19 and the abrupt decline in activity can be seen in greater detail. The severe drops in data are unprecedented. Here are the highlights of last week’s reports:

  • Manufacturing production fell sharply by a record-setting 13.7% in April to the lowest level since July 28, with durable and nondurable goods output plummeting 19.3% and 8.2%, respectively. All 19 major manufacturing sectors experienced declines in April. Capacity utilization in the sector fell to 61.1%, a new all-time low.
  • There were 320,000 manufacturing job openings in March, the slowest pace since November 2016 and down from 422,000 in February. Net hiring was -433,000 in March. Quits in the manufacturing sector slowed to their lowest since June 2016, but layoffs rose from 113,000 to 566,000.

Monday Economc Reoport 0518 2020

PPP Load Forgiveness Application: An In Depth Analysis

Bruce L. Blasnik, Partner at Council Friend and Associate Member PKF O’Conner Davies writes  “Like Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll’s famous 1865 novel, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been filled with surprising, strange and sometimes frightful twists and turns. The latest of these is the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application (Application) that was released by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sometime after business hours on Friday night, May 15. The Application and the related instructions, which is long and surprisingly complex, is no exception. Those looking for answers to the many questions relating to loan forgiveness may be disappointed.”

Read more at PKF O’Conner  Davies

Many Reopening Plans Do Not Include Antibody Testing

Many US companies say they will use temperature checks, diagnostic tests and face masks — and not antibody tests — as part of their reopening plans. Employers have expressed concerns about liability, costs, availability and validity of the antibody tests.

Read the full story and Reuters

Fear of Returning to Work: When You’re Ready but Your Employees Are Not

“No decision is a decision, You don’t get to escape this one.”

The pandemic has created a monumental dilemma no leaders have faced before–reopening means asking your team to run the risk they may be exposed to the virus; staying closed any longer means you may never have the means to open again. 

You can’t eliminate those fears, but you can and should encourage your people to be honest about what they’re feeling. And in return? Listen. Then, give them clear, transparent communication about what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re doing as a business to lower the risks for staff. 

Read more in INC.

Register for Our 5/27 Webinar on this Topic with Skip Weisman

Manufacturers Face Extra Costs from Coronavirus

Even manufacturers that have stayed open during the coronavirus pandemic have felt financial pressures, as cleaning facilities and screening employees brings additional costs. Companies such as Lubrizol also face “significant increases in supply chain and logistics costs as we work to get our materials to those who have the greatest need,” says CEO Eric Schnur.

Read the full story at Reuters

More Complexity, Fewer Customers: Auto Industry Tries to Reopen

Rebooting more than 40 U.S. assembly plants—as well as the thousands of component makers that supply them—is likely to be a slow and arduous process, say industry executives and consultants.

The coronavirus crisis has led car companies to idle plants across North America, lay off workers and burn through cash. Auto makers and their vast network of parts suppliers are determined to get back to work. But like businesses across the country, they are facing both complications and costs around worker safety and depressed customer demand.

Many manufacturers have spent the past several weeks putting new procedures in place to keep workers safe upon return and plan to gradually increase production this month.

Read more at the WSJ 

Collaboration, Innovation, and Open Trade Are Indispensable for Combating Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic will be contained through intense collaboration, innovation, and open trade, uninhibited by artificial barriers or restrictions, particularly when it comes to medical supplies and research data.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), together with 16 other members of the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA) and two dozen other think tanks, have issued a joint declaration on the importance of collaboration, open trade, and innovation in tackling COVID-19, calling on governments to take measures to save lives and prepare for future pandemics.

Read ITIF’s commentary