COVID-19

Image shows a man in a suit with a microphone
Doug Clark
Businesses get another chance at PPP loans

Congress really wants small businesses to keep borrowing through the Paycheck Protection Program. By unanimous consent Tuesday, the Senate agreed to a measure introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) extending the popular lending program to Aug. 8. Late this afternoon, the House of Representatives took similar action. The PPP hit

Image shows a white-haired man standing in a field
Doug Clark
HFA pushes against PPP tax ‘gut punch’

A bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Senate would end “confusion” about tax liabilities related to Paycheck Protection Program loans, Home Furnishings Association members were told Wednesday. HFA’s Government Relations Action Team held a conference call with Andrew Siracuse, tax counsel for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Cornyn introduced the Small

Image shows four women wearing masks outside a furniture store
Doug Clark
Face coverings become standard equipment

Masks, or no masks? That has become a contentious question in many parts of the country, where governors and mayors increasingly are issuing orders for people to wear face coverings in public places and businesses. But there’s little controversy in Massachusetts, according to Richard Tubman of Acton-based Circle Furniture. Not

Image shows a bank
Doug Clark
PPP loan deadline nears

Anecdotally, it seems that almost every member of the Home Furnishings Association tapped into the Paycheck Protection Program. For any qualifying furniture retailers that didn’t, it’s not quite too late. The deadline for applying to the small business lending program ends June 30. If you want to apply, you should

Image shows twowome nan d a man outside a furniture store
Doug Clark
HFA’s ‘safe and essential’ argument still must be made

Jeff Smith doesn’t think his business, Walker Furniture in Gainesville, Fla., will be ordered to close again. “I’m not as worried,” he said last week. “I think it’s probably about a 20 to 25 percent chance.” But that’s a chance he’d rather not take. So Smith, a member of the

Image of Delivery people setting up furniture
Robert Bell
Retailers discuss delivering furniture and reassurance to customers

Walk into most bars and restaurants and the maskless patrons and workers make it appear our pandemic worries are over. Three furniture retailer delivery experts advised an HFA live Covid-19 Webinar audience last week not to believe that. Carl Nyberg, COO of Home Furnishings Association member HOM Furniture in Minnesota,

owners of Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture
Robert Bell
With summer vacations on hold, outdoor furniture sales take off

Summertime and the living is getting easier for many Americans who don’t have to worry about a zoonotic virus on vacation because they’re staying home and investing those savings into outdoor furniture. Home furnishings Association members say they’re seeing an increase in outdoor furniture sales, as more customers choose staycations

Image shows a man unloading an applicance from a delivery truck.
Doug Clark
Ask state leaders for liability protection

The Home Furnishings Association is pressing Congress for liability protection. Republicans agree, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) told HFA’s Government Relations Action Team in recent Zoom meetings. [HFA asks for liability protection as stores reopen] But Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he’s in no

open for business sign
Robert Bell
Retailers ready for a possible second round of closings

After three months of forced closings, furniture stores are up and running again — and doing a brisk business, too. But there’s no guarantee how long that boost will last as health experts warn a second wave of novel coronavirus is inevitable in the coming months. If stores are forced

Image shows a government building
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

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