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Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Fed expands Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve Board’s Main Street Lending Program was supposed to serve as an alternative for larger businesses to the popular Paycheck Protection Program. Congress authorized up to $600 billion of funding, but loan terms weren’t attractive and the program was very slow to get off the ground. So, the Fed announced an overhaul June 8. “Supporting small and mid-sized businesses so they are ready to reopen and rehire workers will help foster a broad-based economic recovery,” Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell said in a news release. “I am confident the changes we are making will improve the ability of

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Shop Talk
Doug Clark
Boone’s Furniture says ‘Count On Me NC’

When Katie White saw a few other businesses join Count On Me NC, “I wondered if that was something we could do.” Boone’s Furniture & Gifts in Burlington, N.C., could do it. In fact, it involved “a lot of what we were already doing” to reassure the public it’s safe to come into the store, White said. Count On Me NC was created by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services with business groups to set standards for reopening restaurants, hotels and retail stores after mandatory coronavirus-related closures. “It started originally for the restaurants,” said White. “I kept checking

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News
Doug Clark
Todd Wanek joins 2020 Hall of Fame class

Ashley Furniture Industries President and CEO Todd Wanek will take his place next to his father, Ron, in the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame. Todd Wanek is one of five current or former industry leaders who make up the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. They will be inducted Oct. 17 during the High Point Market. The others are Irv Blumkin, CEO of Nebraska Furniture Mart; the late Robert G. Culp III, co-founder, former chairman and CEO of Culp Inc.; Robert J. Maricich, chairman and CEO of International Market Centers; and Allan H. Palecek, chairman and founder of PALECEK.

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Image shows a woman wearing a mask placing an open sign in a store window.
Policy Matters
Doug Clark
Was your employee’s COVID-19 case work-related?

When an employee at a Schewels Home store tested positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago, Director of Store Operations Matt Schewel knew a strong response was required. But what? “There hadn’t been much of a roadmap for what we’re supposed to do if there is a case,” Schewel said. “So we developed our own guidelines.” Those included closing the store for a day and deep-cleaning and disinfecting areas where the employee had been. Since then, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has spelled out that businesses, including furniture retailers, must record and report work-related cases of COVID-19. However, the

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News
Robert Bell
As businesses report damage from riots, retailers should review insurance policies

HFA members should use the recent rioting and looting across the country to take a second look at their property insurance coverage, says a consultant for Solution Partner Arthur J Gallagher. Nik Levin says retailers sometimes underestimate the value on their property — either unknowingly or to save money on their premiums. “That’s not a wise move to make, and we’re seeing that play out this week,” says Levin. Levin says many small retail franchise businesses he’s working with — none of them furniture retailers — are realizing their stores that were damaged during rioting and looting were undervalued. He

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Shop Talk
Doug Clark
Skandinavia Contemporary Interiors reopens in new location

Skandinavia Contemporary Interiors in Austin, Texas, reopened for business on Memorial Day. Unlike other retailers that were forced to close during the coronavirus outbreak, however, Skandinavia’s owners had been planning their reopening for two years. Shawn and Erika Olsen closed their store on Shoal Creek Boulevard in March, a couple of years after ownership of their building changed hands and they were told that renewing their lease would cost a lot more. They had plenty of time to scout for new opportunities, and “We found what we hope is a much better location,” Shawn Olsen said last week. It’s on

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