pandemic

Inside historic black bookstores’ fight for survival against the COVID-19 pandemic

OAKLAND, Calif. – Inside Marcus Books, the nation’s oldest black-owned bookstore, no one lingers anymore over shelves lined with a diasporic collection of African and African American history, culture, music and literature.

Staffers take phone orders from the safety of their homes. Shoppers keep their distance when darting in and out to pick up purchases. Blanche Richardson, whose parents founded Marcus Books 60 years ago, works alone in the store, putting on a protective mask for curbside deliveries.

Operating in a state of emergency is nothing new for independent black-owned bookstores, which for decades have survived on the margins of the publishing industry. But COVID-19 is posing a new kind of existential threat, Richardson says. Most bookstores have seen a drop in overall book sales even as online sales pick up.

“The pandemic exacerbated the plight of the few remaining black bookstores across the country,” Richardson told USA TODAY.

Black

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Budget Slashed & More Dues Relief For Struggling Members During Pandemic Shutdown

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The International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, has made “significant budget cuts,” including the furloughing of 14 staffers, in order to remain financially viable while still providing services to its members during the pandemic shutdown of film and television production.

“Local 600 knows many members are experiencing severe financial stress,” guild leaders said in a message to their members Tuesday night, saying that they’re allowing members to opt out of paying their third-quarter dues if they’re facing severe financial hardship. They urged those who can afford to pay their dues to do so, however, “because the work of our Local continues.” They also noted that “a single quarter’s dues waiver costs your Local $2,300,000 in lost income, and that money is critical to ensuring Local 600’s financial survival into 2021.”

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A similar dues opt-out was offered for the second quarter.

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Premium Title adds remote online notarization (RON) to make loan closings more efficient during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Title and settlement services company Premium Title adds RON option to a full suite of e-close capabilities it has offered customers since 2018

LUXEMBOURG, July 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Premium Title, a national provider of title and settlement services, today announced it has added remote online notarization (RON) to its suite of e-close capabilities that already includes hybrid e-close and total e-close. The company is integrated with leading electronic web-based closing platforms to help customers digitize the loan closing process so they can more effectively navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Premium Title has always strived to stay ahead of the curve in the mortgage industry and has been providing the convenience of virtual closings for the past two years. Premium Title has completed just over 9,000 purchase transactions using hybrid e-close and total e-close options. The company added RON to its title and settlement services

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Here’s how small businesses threatened by COVID-19 are surviving the pandemic

With the unemployment rate at 11.1% and businesses shut down in every state, COVID-19 has taken a crippling toll on America’s economic health.

MORE: Small businesses rethink their approach amid the pandemic to serve their customers

For many small businesses, which comprise 47% of private-sector payrolls in the U.S., according to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the sudden economic downturn has created a full-blown crisis.

MORE: When coronavirus hit, these small businesses got creative, but they still need help

The big-picture concern shared by economists is if businesses don’t survive, many Americans won’t have jobs to return to after the pandemic. That’s why experts have said it’s important to support local businesses, which are struggling to generate reliable income.

Now, salons, restaurants, florists and fitness instructors, among others, are creatively adjusting to the new realities of the coronavirus economy, pivoting to bringing parts of their business online, connecting with

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Telehealth called a ‘silver lining’ of the COVID-19 pandemic. This time, it might stick

Telehealth use surged from 8% of Americans in December to 29% in May as primary care and mental health physicians and specialists turned to remote care out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a UnitedHealth Group report.

Telehealth evangelists long have touted using high-speed internet connections and a range of devices to link providers and patients for remote care. But regulatory hurdles and medicine’s conservative culture limited virtual checkups to largely minor conditions such as sinus infections or unique circumstances such as connecting neurologists to rural hospitals that lack specialized care.

The pandemic lockdowns closed doctors’ offices and delayed nonemergency care for millions of Americans. Some clinics scrambled to acquire technology platforms to deliver remote care. Others employed rarely used video programs to reach patients in their homes.

Remote visits among Medicare patients surged through the end of March, prompting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Seema

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Did you save money during the pandemic? Here is how to keep it that way

While the coronavirus pandemic has been financially devastating for the almost 45 million unemployed Americans across the country, there’s been a silver lining for others. With the world on lockdown, some say they have actually been able to cut back on expenses and save money. Take students and young professionals who have found themselves moving back in with parents, cutting expensive costs like rent.

“There’s been this forced lifestyle change that has made them not spend the way they used to,” said financial coach Lacey Langford, who dubbed herself “The Military Money Expert” for getting finances into shape. “A lot of people are actually saving money during all this because they are not going out as much. They’re not using a gym membership or they’ve cancelled it.”

Langford is a certified financial coach and veteran who helps clients, especially military families, get their finances in order and develop control and

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How Miami’s seaport is surviving the loss of cruise ship business during the pandemic

Just last November, PortMiami was bustling with construction workers bringing to life five new cruise terminals and two cruise company headquarters. Future cruise business was all but guaranteed: Fiscal year 2020 was set to break the port’s 2019 record of 6.8 million passengers, up 22 percent from 2018.

The county agreed to pay $700 million toward the projects, and the cruise companies — Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, MSC Cruises and Virgin Voyages — agreed to repay the county $5.8 billion over the next 20 to 62 years.

In November, port director Juan Kuryla described the deals as “iron clad.” When asked by the Herald what would happen to the promised return on investment if for some reason cruise ships were only half full or if the ships did not to come to Miami at all, Kuryla said the companies would still be on the

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Schools buy miles of plexiglass ahead of potential reopenings amid coronavirus pandemic

As millions of students return to school — be it K-12 or university — they’ll return to familiar settings in their classroom with one obvious addition: layers of plexiglass.

It remains unclear if schools — universities in particular — can reopen campuses amid a surge of coronavirus cases and new restrictions such as the 14-day quarantines demanded from those who travel from various to the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Sheets of plexiglass would play a big role in a reopening, and schools across the country are investing in the plastic sheet to create a division in common spaces such as in libraries, classrooms — and even school buses — to defend against transmission of coronavirus.

“We’re hitting records… week in week out, at this point from a sales perspective,” Ryan Schroeder, CEO of Plaskolite, one of the country’s biggest plexiglass makers, told Yahoo Finance. “Orders

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Coronavirus pandemic may lead to couples putting off divorce, survey finds

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The coronavirus pandemic could lead to married couples who were previously considering divorce to delay proceedings, a survey has suggested.

In April, YouGov carried out a poll of more than 1,000 adults across the UK who had previously been divorced.

The participants were asked whether the virus outbreak would influence their decision to divorce their partner.

Of the respondents, 28 per cent said they would be less likely to pursue divorce due to the Covid-19 crisis.

A small percentage (6 per cent) said that the pandemic would make them feel more inclined to go through divorce proceedings, while the rest said it would either not be a factor in their decision or they did not know if it would be.

The survey of 1,005 adults, which was conducted for family law firm Ampla Finance, also find a marked difference between the way in which women and men felt

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Car Brands That Are Making Buying a Car Worth Your While During the Pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has forced automakers to get crafty with car sales, and incentives like low financing rates and deferred payment options are luring customers into car lots — even if they’re not actually entering the dealership. In fact, many car companies are making it easy for buyers to shop online, make a purchase and receive their new vehicle without ever leaving their homes.

Here’s a look at what every major automaker is doing to tempt new buyers. However, it’s important to note that you have to read the small print. Restrictions often apply, many offers are available only through participating dealers and most deals are only good for well-qualified buyers who get loans through the automaker’s financing arm. But one thing is for sure with all these new offers, the auto industry is changing.

Last updated: July 3, 2020

Acura

Acura is extending a 90-day payment deferral program for

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