Food Lion completes rebranding of Maryland supermarkets, expands workforce by more than 1,100
The Baltimore Sun, 12/09/2020
Food lion’s $108.2 million, yearlong remodeling project for its 52 Maryland locations has completed, adding over 1,100 store employees across the state as a result. These upgrades include redesigned layouts, new décor and lighting, and a wider selection of products. According to an economic impact report produced by Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute, the chain’s investment is expected to generate $15.4 million in additional state and local tax revenues for Maryland in just the first year of operations.
Hogan announces new COVID-19 relief for businesses, no new restrictions
Although Governor Hogan’s December 10 press conference did not bring any new statewide restrictions, the governor announced that the state is taking new measures to provide COVID-19 relief funding for businesses. While this provides some level of assistance, the governor called for additional federal relief through a new stimulus bill, saying that “We can't wait until next year or the new administration or the next Congress. It has to be right now, like this week.” RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani, agrees with Hogan, arguing that federal funding will help businesses get to the other side of the pandemic. In reference to the governor’s new state-level relief funding, Irani states that, “businesses could see their unemployment insurance per employee go up from $25 to over $187 in April, so that would be a significant impact of many small businesses who are already struggling now.”
A Q&A with Daraius Irani, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research at Towson University
Last week, RESI Chief Economist Daraius Irani discussed the pandemic’s impact on the Maryland economy with David Nevins, President and CEO of Nevins & Associates. In this discussion, Irani addresses Maryland’s employment and says that, “with COVID-19, growth will be at a lower level and we predict to lose 200,000 jobs.” Irani goes on to say that the nature of how we work will also be changed permanently and a hybrid situation of working from home and in the office will become commonplace. In a post COVID-19 world, Irani predicts that retaining employees will be one of the biggest challenges and that surveys gauging employee engagement will be critical in the years to come.
Can Nutcracker Revenues Be Saved?
Dance Business Weekly, 12/07/2020
During the holidays, ballet companies are typically preparing for their biggest production of the year, The Nutcracker. In a typical year this show’s revenue is crucial in funding a company through the next year. This year is not a typical one however, and the pandemic has forced many in-person activities to cease including most ballet practices and performances. RESI Senior Research Associate Ellen Bast, who is also an instructor with Charm City Ballet, poses that without the highest grossing event of the year, ballet companies will have to “significantly cut costs or fill that budget gap from somewhere else.” To help compensate, some ballet companies are choosing to move their production of the Nutcracker to an online streaming platform, or an outdoor venue if weather permits. Although, these solutions may not produce as much revenue as a traditional showing, some speculate that they may draw in a wider audience than in years past.