We are in this together.

And we are here to help.

 

During these unprecedented times we want to deploy our data to help you make decisions, aggregate resources, pass along the latest and create a place to share things that are making a difference in our industry.

 

We will update this page with sales trends, what we learn about stimulus information and steps for securing disaster relief for your organization. Links to what we have so far are listed below.

 

If you have any ideas or content you would like to see featured here, please let us know. Our goal is to support our industry in any way we can over the coming weeks.

 

Please fill out the form to be included in our daily email updates and let us know what you would like to see posted here.

 

 

 

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Daily Sales Data

We will update these numbers daily to give you a real time view of what we see happening across markets.

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You can see the percentage change in sales, year-over-year in the first two columns. First, across all of our partners in all markets and then a view of percentage change for just our partners who continue to do business on some level (takeout/delivery).

We also received a request to show week-over-week numbers to see how things are changing within this crisis as opposed to just compared to this time last year. The idea is that year-over-year is going to continue to be ugly, but if sales start to improve at all we will see it more clearly by comparing the weekday to the same day in the previous week.

No doubt these numbers are not perfect given how data flows into our platform (estimating statistical significance around 10%) but want to prioritize speed to your inbox and directional data that hopefully helps you make informed decisions. We will continue to refine these views so if there is any particular piece of data you would like to see, let us know.

Helping businesses and building our data set.

We are giving away our basic product (pulls daily sales and pushes to accounting) for 90 days to increase daily visibility for you, and increase the size and value of our data.

No contracts. Just a free service to support the cause.

Learn More & Sign Up

Resources from MarginEdge

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I'm sure you know but late last night we cleared an important legislative hurdle on the way to seeing some federal assistance and financial relief. Not the last hurdle this package needs to cross and even then it will take time for the specific regulations to be written. Headline, it seems relief is on the way but too early to know when it might make its way to our businesses. We are watching closely and as any of this takes shape, you will be the first to know.

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I know from talking to many of you that you are in my shoes exactly – at my restaurants I have been forced to let go of all hourly team members for now, and I have a small number of salaried managers that have been with us forever that I am desperately trying to keep on payroll. This is where the FMLA Act gets interesting and Uncle Sam may actually be able to help quickly.

 

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Things are changing by the hour - a phrase I always thought was silly until this past week. We are doing our best to keep up and while none of us know exactly how any of this will shake out, we will continue to send along anything we learn along the way.  Last night new programs were passed into law related to FMLA and SBA loans but neither has any real detailed regulations yet so we will update on those later. 

 

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As our sample size continues to decrease as a result of voluntary and mandated closures and reduced operations for those still open, we changed our year-over-year view to show percentage change across all markets. We also included a view only showing percentage change for locations that were still operating in some capacity. You can also see percentage of closures by market across our data set.

 

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As you know, the SBA is rolling out a program to provide low-interest loans of up to $2M to small businesses that have been severely impacted by Coronavirus. These Disaster Loans are being made available on a state-by-state basis as they declare emergencies. 

Here are ways you can prepare to apply.

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I am sure you are aware of American Express Merchant Financing. I didn't expect it but it is still available and providing rapid 12 month working capital loans at reasonable rates (the same rates they have for years when the sky wasn’t falling). In two hours I received approval for same day funding of up to $120k for my restaurant in Boston. 

Honestly, I was surprised given what is happening. We didn't take the full amount and you can pull what you need, but thought it was very cool of American Express to keep that line open during these crazy times. 

 

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Resources from the Industry

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Today the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.

 

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As restaurants have shut down across the United States in response to city and statewide coronavirus-related lockdown mandates, business owners are wondering if this disaster is covered under their business insurance protection plans. And while there is likely no pandemic provision (or exception) in any restaurant’s insurance coverage, business owners are hoping for relief in the global health emergency that could result in economic catastrophe.

 

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The restaurant industry is home to more than 15 million trained and skilled employees in restaurants across the country serving the public every day. The restaurant industry is open and the tables at America’s 1+ million restaurant and foodservice locations are always a great place to gather with friends and family. To ensure that restaurants have the latest information about coronavirus, we created this industry-specific guidance for owners and operators.

 

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A comprehensive list of resources at the state and local level for restaurant businesses and employees impacted by COVID provided by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

 

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Join the Rally for Restaurants movement today, buy a gift card (or five), and challenge your friends to do the same. Give yourself something to look forward to while giving small business owners a fighting chance.

 

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Multifunding created a message board to assist businesses navigating applying for SBA Disaster Loans. This thread has been a valuable resource to members of our community.

 

Access Message Board

Creative Responses

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Restaurants are also using this unprecedented time to serve the community and push perishable products. Hook Hall’s cavernous bar and events space has turned into a relief center that sets up restaurant workers with meals and home essentials. Eastern Market’s Eat Brgz dropped off chicken and beef burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches to 400 firefighter-EMTs across D.C.’s 34 fire stations through nonprofit Food On The Stove Tuesday afternoon. Fast-casual newcomer Immigrant Food is is donating ingredients and inventory to staff and the local immigrant community through the restaurant’s five NGO partners. And Bethesda steakhouse Medium Rare is donating prepared meals every night to quarantined seniors.

 

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