Happy Tuesday, Happy Summer
Welcome to this week's issue .... For an upcoming issue, I'd like to focus on specific issues facing child care providers during the pandemic. Send me any referrals or suggestions for a local voice!
-- Brenda Rees, Biz Buzz Editor
Contact me at brenda@TheEastsiderLA.com
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What to expect at your next local hotel stay
With the recent reopening of hotels, Angelenos might be pondering a local overnight stay as a welcomed mental holiday away from the monotony of home offices, backyards and their immediate neighborhoods.
According to the travel website AFAR, of the 57,528 hotels in the United States (or 5.4 million hotel rooms), at least 5,241 hotels temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of June 10, 3,172 of those hotels had reopened, and 2,069 properties remained temporarily closed due to the pandemic.
For those venturing out for a holiday, some elements of an overnight stay will seem the same – but other aspects will be noticeable, says Kirsten Leigh Pratt of boutique hotel Silver Lake Pool & Inn.
“We have taken all the collateral out of the rooms,” she says describing the absence of minibars, menus, magazines, text cards and door hangers in addition to soft goods like throw pillows and blankets (guests can request pre-wrapped pillows and blankets if needed). The lack of these “little touches,” however won’t diminish the comfort of the room, she stresses.
Overall, technology has played a big role in the new rollout.
Touch tablets in rooms take the place of all necessary room information and transactions, such as ordering mini-bar beverages and snacks.
Housekeepers use the Protexus electrostatic spraying system that uses an EPA-approved product effective against COVID-19 in 1 minute; the process also makes sanitizing quicker for staff. Guests can ask for additional treatments during their stay as daily housekeeping is by request only.
In addition to deep cleaning after guests check-out, rooms will be unoccupied for a minimum of 72 hours between stays.
Front desk procedures now incorporate UV technology for distributing room keys and credit cards. “It’s these little things that we think we give the guests peace of mind,” says Pratt. “We know we only get one chance to impress.”
Currently, bookings for the hotel are increasing; as expected, most guests are local.
Pratt looks forward to the next step of reopening the hotel: the restaurant. “We are fortunate to have all outdoor seating,” she says.
A big draw of the Silver Lake hotel is the pool where guests now bring pool towels from their room and are asked not to move around frequently sanitized pool furniture that has been specifically placed to observe social distancing.
“We think safety and a relaxing pampering experience can coexist,” sums up Pratt. “Hospitality is more important than ever these days.”
Take A Poll: Are you planning a summer vacation this year?
Minimum wage in Los Angeles to increase on July 1
L.A. workers are getting a raise. Here’s a breakdown:
- Businesses with 26 employees or more: the minimum wage will increase from $14.25 to $15.00
- Businesses with 25 or fewer employees: the wage will increase from $13.25 to $14.25 per hour
- Non-profit corporations with 26 or more employees: Pending approval, these operators can pay a deferred rate
For more information about wage increases and paid sick leave, go here to the Office of Wage Standards’ Official Notice.
SBA help for business owners with civil unrest damage
Low-interest disaster recovery loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are now available to LA County businesses that suffered physical damage or economic injury because of the looting, fires and vandalism that coincided with the civil unrest that began on May 26.
Businesses of all size and most private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Interest rates can be as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.25 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.
Two important deadlines: owners must file by August 17, 2020 for property damage, and by March 17, 2021 for economic injury applications. To apply, either complete an application online at sba.gov, call (800) 659-2955, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A virtual SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (open Monday – Fridays 8am – 4:30pm) will also answer questions and explain the application process.
Where customers feel comfortable
The doors may be re-opening around Los Angeles, but many businesses could be waiting for a while before cautious customers to reappear.
A survey by Morning Consult showed the top activities adults across the United States feel comfortable doing in the current pandemic phase. The top three: eating out (35%), going to a shopping mall (35%) and taking a non-passport vacation (32%).
The bottom three: going to an amusement park (20%), attending a live concert (17%) and traveling abroad (13%).
Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Just say no to scammers
If you applied to be part of LA’s Small Business Emergency Microloan Program, watch out for phony phone calls, text or voice mail messages. Scammers are targeting businesses requesting personal information or directing them to fraudulent websites; emails also contain malicious attachments or websites.
It bears repeating: never give out personal information, including passwords, banking information, or other personally identifiable information over the phone, text or email to people you do not know.
Unsure about the validity of any information you have received regarding the Microloan Program? Go to official website at LAmayor.org/Loan or contact the City at (213) 744-7130 or at email@example.com
That’s it for this issue!
We will be back next week with more Biz Buzz.
-- Brenda Rees