Accounts – Many Creation Tue, 27 Apr 2021 13:33:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Accounts – Many Creation 32 32 Steak n Shake lender says company still owes millions Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:13:48 +0000

Steak n Shake’s administrative loan officer disputes the company’s claim that it is “debt-free.”

Specifically, Wilmington Trust, National Association sued the Indianapolis-based fast food chain for more than $ 8.5 million in unpaid fees and interest from 2018 – funds it says Steak n Shake refuses to pay.

The unpaid charges relate to $ 220 million in loans that Steak n Shake’s parent company Biglari Holdings reportedly paid in February– help the channel avoid a bankruptcy filing which, at one point, seemed imminent.

The lawsuit, filed in New York federal court, promises to keep legal pressure on Steak n Shake and Biglari Holdings arising from the chain’s acrimonious debt issue. This is the third lawsuit related to the debt – Steak n Shake last week dismissed its lawsuit against Fortress Investment Group, the private equity firm that bought the chain’s debt and sought to push the business to file for bankruptcy.

Steak n Shake borrowed $ 220 million in 2014. Biglari Holdings, its parent company, has not repaid the debt. That debt has become a growing problem in recent years as the chain’s sales struggled, and the chain has spent much of the past year working hard to avoid declaring bankruptcy. Biglari Holdings finally paid $ 102.5 million in February to repay the amount owed, avoiding a deposit.

In a subsequent press release, Steak n Shake has declared itself “debt free” making it “one of the strongest companies in the restaurant industry”.

Wilmington disputed this description. “Unlike Steak n Shake’s position, Steak n Shake is not ‘debt free’ and the credit facility with the lenders has not been ‘withdrawn’ because there are millions of dollars in ‘bonds’ in suspense that Steak n Shake still owes to the lenders and Wilmington under the credit agreement, ”the company said in a filing.

According to the lawsuit, Wilmington was entitled to apply the Steak n Shake payment first to its fees and expenses as well as to the lenders. So, says Wilmington, Steak n Shake still owes money and its debt isn’t actually taken out.

Wilmington, in his lawsuit, claims Steak n Shake still owes nearly $ 3.7 million in damages, which could be characterized as debt the company owes on its credit facility or unpaid charges.

In addition, according to the firm, Steak n Shake owes $ 4.85 million in interest accrued since 2018. Wilmington says Steak n Shake has so far refused to pay such fees.

This is not the first lawsuit between Steak n Shake and Wilmington, who took over as the company’s debt administrative agent in May of last year. In August, Steak n Shake sued the company over Wilmington’s refusal to release liens on restaurants the company was trying to sell. A judge ruled in Wilmington’s favor the following month.

Steak n Shake had previously sued Fortress, which had acquired the company’s debt in the secondary market and was using its rights as a lender to take ownership of the chain. Fortress has been a particularly aggressive buyer of restaurants and other businesses using such “off the shelf” strategies.

Steak n Shake argued that Fortress initially expressed interest in acquiring some of the chain’s properties that were for sale last year in order to gain information about the business – which it then used to buy out. debt in order to take over the business. .

Source link

]]> 0
Taxpayers may never know how many jobs the $ 1 trillion P3 program has saved. The government did not count | Government Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:13:48 +0000

WASHINGTON – A year after Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program, taxpayers don’t know how many jobs have been saved thanks to the nearly $ 1 trillion in forgivable loans given to businesses during the pandemic .

And economists and government watch groups say they probably never will – because government didn’t count.

The PPP has been touted as a way to save millions of jobs threatened during the COVID-19 recession. But the Small Business Administration under Trump – and now under Biden – has not kept track of the numbers on the jobs that have been saved, despite a legal obligation to do so.

“No one will really know, except the beneficiaries, what happened with the loan and the jobs,” said Sean Moulton, senior policy analyst at the government watch group Project on Government Oversight.

The SBA’s initial estimate of 50 million jobs “supported” by the PPP was quickly dismissed as grossly inaccurate. Economists at the Treasury Department put the number closer to 19 million, while economists study the program estimate between 2 and 5 million.

Over 8.7 million forgivable loans worth $ 961 billion have been made to date. And President Joe Biden just signed a two-month extension, allowing the SBA to accept requests for $ 79 billion in loans until May 31. SBA officials told Congress they expected the money to run out by the end of April. (The Los Angeles Times reported last week that it had received a $ 10 million PPP loan.)

But now, a program that was originally promoted as a way to save millions of American jobs appears to have done a lot more to help businesses and their owners, according to early economic studies.

Thousands of businesses, including some that received PPP loans of $ 10 million, said they had saved no jobs with the aid, according to the SBA. In other cases, PPP recipients have used the two or three months of salary support to simply postpone layoffs. And smaller businesses – those that need help paying their employees the most – have often missed the program altogether.

Almost 19 million Americans currently collect unemployment insurance benefits. Since nearly half of American workers are employed by a small business, knowing whether the program was successful could be critical to understanding how long the country’s economic recovery will take.

When it launched in 2020, the PPP exhausted $ 349 billion in just 13 days. It was quickly recognized as one of the most successful pandemic relief programs – until questions arose as to whether all of the beneficiaries really needed the money and some names prominent hamburger chain Shake Shack and the Los Angeles Lakers have paid off their loans.

By law, Congress instructed the SBA to collect and release quarterly data from all companies that received more than $ 150,000, including the number of jobs affected by the loan and estimated economic growth. of the company.

In April 2020, just days after the program began issuing loans, the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget asked the agency not to ask loan recipients to report the number estimate of jobs created or retained.

OMB said “centrally available economic data” would provide sufficient information to produce the report. His memo didn’t specify where that data would come from, how it would be verified, or why he didn’t want companies to provide the information.

The result was a mishmash of data. Some companies voluntarily listed the employees who would be supported by the money, others refused. Dozens said the data released by the SBA did not accurately reflect their employee count or what they had listed on their apps.

In January, the agency’s inspector general pointed out in a report that reliable information on the number of jobs saved was not available because the SBA had not collected it.

“ASB officials and national leaders do not have enough information to make informed decisions or to determine how well the PPP has met the objectives of the national program. Also, SBA cannot accurately report the jobs retained by PPP borrowers, ”the watchdog said.

On Thursday, an OMB spokesperson did not say whether the Biden administration intended to reverse Trump’s policies and start collecting the data as Congress ordered.

SBA officials have repeatedly told Congress last year that clearer figures regarding jobs will be available once companies request cancellation of their loans, an ongoing process. This application asks for the number of jobs supported by the loan. But that is unlikely to provide the answer.

Moulton said the pardon requests will only provide a snapshot of current conditions, not the five years of job data that Congress specifically asked for in the CARES Act to verify whether the loans have kept people in their jobs. long-term. Employees who were paid using the loan could have been made redundant as soon as the money ran out, he said.

The PPP’s focus on jobs changed over the year, with companies worrying that there was no point in paying employees if they were unable to pay rent and to stay afloat. This led to changes that allowed more money to be spent on non-salary expenses.

Initially, borrowers had to devote at least 75% of their loans to the payroll in order to be fully forgiven. But in June, Congress lowered that threshold to 60%, giving businesses more money to spend on expenses like rent and more time to spend it.

No one disputes that the program has probably helped thousands of small businesses to survive. The scope of the number of closings and the number of people left open will become more evident as tax returns and bankruptcy data become available on time, economists say.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, DN.H., said the change made by Congress was an attempt to give small businesses more flexibility to keep their doors open, which in turn would preserve jobs.

“If they close, these people have nowhere to go to work,” Shaheen said. “Keeping small businesses open is about jobs.”

The program was designed to help as many businesses as possible, with little evidence needed from them to know if they have actually suffered a loss of income as a result of the pandemic.

Especially at the start of the program, much of the money went to companies that had not lost revenue, had other resources like lines of credit to tap into, or were unlikely to fire workers without it. ready.

Microenterprises, those with fewer than 10 employees, which would have benefited the most from this money, were sidelined in the first round by large companies that had lending relationships with large banks.

Eric Zwick, an economist at the University of Chicago School of Business who studied the program, said Congress could have changed the program in the early months of the pandemic after seeing how much money was going to companies that were not in regions or industries facing economic peril due to the closures. Congress waited until December to prioritize loans to businesses with fewer employees and with significant drops in revenue.

“You could have had the same program, just as (beneficial), maybe for half the price,” Zwick said.

Robert Bartlett, professor of law at Berkeley, who surveyed Oakland businesses during the pandemic, found that the loan’s contribution to a company’s survival expectancy largely depended on the number of people it employed .

Microenterprises with fewer than five employees needed their employees to keep working in order to stay open and thus benefited the most from payroll support, Bartlett said. They were 20% more likely to say they expected to be open in six months because of the loan.

But for companies with more than five employees, layoffs were the best way to manage cash flow, and they needed government rent assistance more than payroll assistance, Bartlett said. Although the PPP delayed layoffs for a few months, they reported that the loans did not have a lasting effect on the companies’ ability to survive the next six months.

“One-size-fits-all programs can be politically expedient, but they might not be what all small businesses… need,” Bartlett said.

The program expired in August, but Congress approved a second round of loans in December, tightening eligibility requirements to focus support on the smallest, hardest-hit businesses and those with the most declining incomes. . Only businesses with fewer than 300 employees could apply for a second loan and funds were earmarked for small minority businesses in particular. It also created direct grants for performance venues and restaurants, which the SBA plans to make available in April.

Companies applying for PPP loans still do not have to report the number of jobs saved. Moulton, of the watchdog group, is urging the Biden administration to start collecting this data and retroactively asking former recipients to release their numbers, in order to measure the success of the program.

“We’re spending money right now on this program,” Moulton said. “It’s never too late to start getting this information.”

As an Amazon Associate, I earn Qualifying Purchases.

Source link

]]> 0
Covid loan helps travel agencies cope Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:13:48 +0000

A federal loan program supporting some of the nation’s major airlines has also helped a travel agency in northwest Arkansas survive the pandemic.

Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provided the US Treasury Department with $ 500 billion in loans and other investments “to provide liquidity to eligible businesses, states and municipalities related to losses suffered as a result of the coronavirus “.

The law allocated up to $ 25 billion of that money to a passenger airline industry loan program, which ultimately provided nearly $ 21.2 billion in low-interest loans to airlines, ticket agents and aircraft repair companies, according to a report released this week by Congressional Oversight. Commission.

Of that amount, more than $ 21 billion went to nine airlines, including $ 7.5 billion to American Airlines and $ 7.491 billion to United Airlines.

Bristin Travel LLC of Fayetteville, which received a loan of $ 549,651, was one of two travel agencies nationwide to participate.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage »]

Ovation Travel Group in New York, which received a $ 20 million loan, was the other.

Bristin Travel founder David Temple said the loan, along with other government covid-19 programs, has helped his company survive the most difficult business climate he has ever encountered.

With over 100 trips to Mexico and the Caribbean to his name, the 35-year-old businessman has made travel and tourism his mission.

Operating under the name BlueSun Vacations, his company hosts destination weddings and sunny respites.

Specializing in seaside destinations, its travel agents are called BeachMasters.

After the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country, “it was a nightmare,” Temple said.

The number of trips to Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, which was approximately 2.15 million passengers on March 31, 2019, fell to 136,023 on March 31, 2020.

Closed borders; overseas flights have been canceled.

“I was in the industry during the Great Recession [of 2008-2009]. I’ve been through some pretty tough boom and bust cycles. It was completely unprecedented, “he said.” It was not an off track. You just fell off a cliff overnight. “

With clients canceling trips and credit evaporating, “my full-time job has become ‘making sure I don’t run out of cash’,” he said.

“I applied for around 98 government-subsidized loans, grants and vehicles,” he said.

The Paycheck Protection Program, combined with the Small Business Administration’s Covid-19 Economic Disaster Loan Program, helped him avert a disaster, Temple said.

The loan handled by the Treasury Department was quite complex, Temple noted.

“As you realize, it wasn’t created for small businesses like me,” he said.

He inquired about the loan in April, and it was not finalized until October, he said.

It was an expensive process; Temple estimates he spent $ 25,000 on lawyers and accountants in general.

“The closing documents were 498 pages long. The compliance documentation since obtaining the loan was almost 2,000 pages,” he said.

“I’m sure I spent 100 hours, maybe 150 or 200 hours, on paperwork, correspondence [and] meetings, ”he said.

“I didn’t really know or have any degree of confidence that we were going to get it until a few days after receiving it,” he said.

The interest and charges on the loan will ultimately be around 6.75%, he said.

The loan maturity date is October 26, 2025.

The Treasury Department “will be reimbursed, in full, with interest,” he said. “It shouldn’t cost American taxpayers anything, and it saves all jobs.”

The company now has 16 employees, six of whom were hired this week, and the business is rebounding, he said.

“It’s booming,” he says.

People are looking to travel during the summer, and year-end travel is heating up as well, he said.

The Transportation Security Administration reported 1,278,113 passengers at its checkpoints on Wednesday – up from 136,023 on the same date a year ago.

The Treasury Department closed the airline industry loan program.

U.S. Representative French Hill, R-Ark., Who sits on the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Committee, said the program did what it was supposed to do, highlighting the revival in passenger travel.

A separate $ 4 billion program provided loans and loan guarantees to air cargo companies.

“The Congress Airlines and Air Cargo program has been extremely helpful in getting the airlines through this storm of the year,” he said.

“In our opinion, it has been accepted and used by airlines and air cargo companies with quite a bit of success,” he said.

Hill, a former Little Rock banker, was one of four people hired to serve on the Congressional Oversight Committee, a bipartisan body formed to oversee how the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve use law funds CARES.

The report is available at:

Source link

]]> 0
These are the biggest opportunities and obstacles for the cannabis industry Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:13:48 +0000

As more states strive to legalize recreational and medical cannabis in 2020 and 2021, the pot has found its way to the forefront of investment. the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (OTC: HMLSF) is up more than 120% in the last 12 months, far exceeding the S&P 500 and its gains of about 60%. On March 25, New York City voted to legalize recreational cannabis and became the second largest state (after California) to allow drug use by adults.

But amid the excitement, it also became clear that the cannabis industry has a long way to go to reach its full potential. Dr Chanda Macias, medical cannabis advocate, researcher and dispensary owner joined Olivia Zitkus and Corinne Cardina on a March 19 episode of Fool live to talk about the upcoming opportunities and obstacles for the industry and its investors.

Corinne Cardina: Let’s talk to our audience a little more about the medical marijuana landscape. What do you think are the biggest opportunities and the biggest obstacles to growth in this space?

Dr Chanda Macias: It’s very interesting. Corinne, based on New Frontier Data, by 2025 the cannabis industry will be a $ 41.5 billion industry. When you ask this question, my first answer would be, it’s a call to action for those who want to enter the industry as a small business. If you want to work in the cannabis business, right now the job market growth is up 161%. I think this is a great opportunity to also think about investments. These are three areas that people can participate in today.

Cardina: It’s incredible. Oh darn. The dogs have started. Oh no. Someone has to pass. Sorry about that, all of you. Let’s talk about barriers to growth. Of course, you focus on the political aspect with your participation in the National Cannabis Roundtable. We have seen a lot of laws, state by state. Some bills gained a bit of momentum at the federal level and then, maybe not so much on the banking side, deregulation. What do you think are some of the policies that, if we can tackle these reforms, would really pave the way for the medical marijuana market to take off?

Macias: Well, what is very interesting is that we are still in ban at the federal level. With this we need to take our action and the first step with the National Cannabis Roundtable is to have a strong voice for decriminalization. We need to make sure patients are protected. In other words, what we have seen, Corinne, in the past is that a patient, when he has this cannabis or possessed it, could have gone to jail for it. We’ve seen it in the African American community quite rampantly. But now it’s time for us to protect our patients and give them legal access to it. The first thing to do is to decriminalize it so that patients don’t have to worry that in fact it is a criminal charge if they have it. States have really taken a proactive approach to patient protection, which I love. Now, at the federal level, we must show the way. But also with that, I think of the banking problems. What a lot of people don’t know is that we can’t use traditional banks in this space because it’s still illegal at the federal level. So for us we are a cash only business which means someone like me has to carry hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay my taxes which is just amazing right now with the sophistication of United States. It is time for us to change some of these ideas like banking security. Now the bill was reintroduced yesterday, in fact, and what the bill will do for us or just public knowledge is that it will allow patients to pay for their medications with their debit cards. or credit. This will allow me, as a small business or, should I say, several businesses in this industry, to be able to effectively apply for traditional loans. If you think about my profile as an African American woman, there are less than 4% of African Americans who own cannabis today. One of those limitations, in fact, is that we don’t have access to capital. But with the SAFE Banking Act, we will be able to apply for loans and use traditional banking means. It’s so important to our story, to put SAFE Banking at the forefront. Then after that, we definitely have so many different policies. We are thinking of the reform of social justice and also of the taxation of the 280th district. So there are other things we can talk about. But yes, there are a lot of steps to get to legalization, in other words.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are motley! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Source link

]]> 0
Going Green Can Be Easy: Four Ways To Make Your Move Green Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:13:48 +0000

Moving is a time when we end up cleaning out those overloaded closets, basements and garages. We can throw away those old clothes, electronics, magazines, bikes, outdated ballet slippers, etc.

Let’s face it: travel time equals dump time.

In addition to major weeding of our goods, we use loads of packaging material and create heaps and heaps of trash that contribute to our landfills. But did you know you can take a green step?

Going green means being aware of the environment and using methods that are not harmful to the earth. To paraphrase Kermit the Frog, “Sometimes it’s actually easy to be green.”

There are simple steps you can take on a move to reduce your waste. Being eco-conscious on moving day will also save you some green in your wallet! Follow these four steps to make Mother Nature proud:

1. Use environmentally friendly moving supplies

From boxes to bubble wrap, there are now green and 100% recyclable materials to keep our neighborhoods cleaner and more environmentally friendly. Yes, there is even biodegradable bubble wrap so you can get out guilt-free.

Eco-bonus: Save money by asking your mover for used cardboard boxes made from recyclable materials. You can get used boxes at a discount and some moving companies will even reimburse you for returning your used boxes at the end of your move. Cha Ching!

2. Give back

Finally, the garage and cupboards are being cleaned. Hooray! Now is the time to get rid of what you don’t really need.

Things like the growing collection of tuna and soup cans in the pantry, the many sports team t-shirts, or your 10-year-old’s toddler clothes; etc.

Don’t just throw them away. Donate unwanted furniture, clothing and household items to your favorite local charity, like Goodwill, for someone else to benefit. If you have any canned goods you don’t want to move, consider donating to a local food bank or organization like Get moving for hunger. Don’t forget to keep your moving and donation receipts to save money on your taxes next year!

3. Be nice to your electronics

You might not want your old microwave, but don’t throw it away. If you do, it probably won’t be recycled under US environmental regulations.

Contact a household electronic waste recycler to have your old computers, microwave ovens, etc. are recycled domestically, under strict environmental laws, rather than being shipped for treatment by highly toxic and polluting techniques.

4. Hire an eco-conscious moving company

Use your “green” to influence and encourage green habits by hiring companies that use environmentally friendly practices.

Make sure your moving company is environmentally conscious by asking:

  • Do staff recycle?
  • Are their office and warehouse designed to be energy efficient?
  • Do they use biodiesel to run their trucks?
  • Do they use 100% recyclable materials?
  • Do they sell used boxes?
  • Do they buy them back at the end of the move?

Pat yourself on the back; you make Mother Earth smile and future generations will thank you!

Laura McHolm is an organization, moving and storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A +” rated company specializing in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.

Subscribe to Zing! Blog