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Report on Retail and Food Services Sales Reveals Mixed Picture

Posted July 20, 2020 by Bill Walker

On Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau released their latest data on estimated retail and food services sales for June. Estimated numbers are based on early reports from a small sampling of companies selected from the larger Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS) sample. You can view the Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services,...

A Closer Look at Who is Getting PPP Dollars

Posted July 09, 2020 by Bill Walker

You’ve probably seen the headlines this week about the government’s release of more details about who received money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). There were some surprises in there about the amount lent to organizations like private equity and wealth management firms, as well as not for profit organizations. But much of...

Questions Surround the Final Phases of Reopening

Posted June 29, 2020 by Bill Walker

There’s been broad confusion about the “phases of reopening” the U.S. economy. The White House created a recommended three-phase plan back in April, yet it specifies that it is ultimately up to each governor to determine what works best for their state’s situation and level of COVID-19 spread. Places like New Jersey, New York, and...

May Retail & Food Service Data Improves as Shutdowns Ease

Posted June 23, 2020 by Bill Walker

The U.S. Census Bureau’s May 2020 retail and food service data was released on June 16, and it reveals some impressive gains when comparing May to April of this year. Looking at the seasonally adjusted figures, total U.S. retail and food services sales went from $412.5 billion in April to $485.5 billion in May — a 17.7 percent monthly...

Industry Spotlight: Grocery Stores

Posted June 15, 2020 by Amy Short

The nation’s 41,000 grocery stores have experienced a raucous 2020, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic. While grocery retail is a low margin, high volume business, sales surged during the second quarter of this year, driven by panic buying and a resurgence in home cooking.

Jobs Numbers Improving… But Still a Long Way to Go

Posted June 11, 2020 by Bill Walker

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their May employment data on Friday, June 5, and there were some pleasant surprises. After March and April’s freefall, employers added a record 2.5 million jobs in May. The unemployment rate fell from 14.7 percent in April to 13.3 percent in May — though that is still a record high level.

Why a Crisis May Be Prime Time for Accounting Marketing

Posted June 04, 2020 by Nicolle Bouffard

I recently attended a Capstone Marketing webinar entitled, “Marketing Your Accounting Firm in Uncertain Times.” The presenter — Capstone’s founder, Jean Caragher — noted that there are lessons to be learned from the past when it comes to marketing during economic downturns. Accounting firms that continued to market themselves during...

The Far-Reaching Cost of Government Budget Cutbacks

Posted June 01, 2020 by Bill Walker

I recently shared the ways in which declining tax revenue is taking a toll on state and local coffers, resulting in numerous job and budget cuts. Sales, gas, hotel, and other taxes and tolls have all decreased dramatically during the COVID-19-related shutdowns across the country.

Building Anxiety: Housing Starts Plummet

Posted May 21, 2020 by Bill Walker

On Tuesday morning, new data was released by the Census Bureau on housing starts in the U.S. And the picture is rather bleak. April privately-owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 891,000, which is a 30.2 percent drop from March of this year. It is also 29.7 percent below the April 2019 rate.

Math Meets Civics: Education Job Numbers Plummet During Pandemic

Posted May 14, 2020 by Bill Walker

Earlier this week, I shared with you the detrimental financial impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the healthcare sector. It is somewhat counterintuitive that hospitals that are overflowing with coronavirus patients would be losing money. As I explained, however, many healthcare organizations have had to sacrifice more lucrative...

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