March 27, 2020



I hope you are all staying safe and well. Here in New York State, we’ve seen a big increase in coronavirus cases this week, 37,258 as of yesterday morning with 21,393 of those in New York City, where I live and have been sequestered with my family – and we’re buckling our seat belts for what will no doubt be a rough ride over the next few weeks.

Like most of you, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the headlines multiple times a day for news about the stimulus package, which passed the Senate Wednesday and is now with the House, on its way to the president’s desk for signing. Many small and midsize businesses have seen their revenues fall off a cliff since the crisis started, and some have been hanging on by their fingernails. The federal stimulus, which offers loans through the Small Business Administration, and many layers of tax deferral and relief, will be a lifeline for them and the many people who receive checks and unemployment benefits.

You can find a summary of the bill’s provisions in our Tax Flash here. Our Tax Department will also be hosting two webinars on Tuesday, March 31 (register here), and Thursday, April 2 (register here), for anyone wanting more details on how the bill’s provisions potentially benefit them.

There are a number of action steps that business owners and operators can take to access the programs the SBA offers, weather the tide of business challenges, preserve the value of their businesses and protect their own personal financial positions. In a market like the one we’re now in, it is essential to identify opportunities to create financial liquidity and stay solvent.

Marcum offered a sold out webinar on this important program yesterday, with a focus on how to access SBA resources and preserve the value of your business in the current crisis environment. It was completely filled to capacity, with more than 1,000 business owners participating. In fact, we are replicating that program this afternoon at 3PM Eastern to accommodate those who were closed out of the first one. A recording of the presentation will also be made available on our Coronavirus Resource Center, which you can access through our website.

With the news cycle moving so quickly, I encourage you to check our resource center often, as we are posting frequent updates on a range of relevant issues, from insights on good “digital hygiene” for remote workers to new IRS guidance, and more.

Many of the middle market companies we serve have transitioned to remote work since the crisis started. I’ve been pleased to hear that many of you are finding new business opportunities and revenue streams while taking more of your business online. None of us planned to be part of this giant, unexpected experiment, but we’re all in it together. And it’s likely to permanently change the nature of work in ways we can only now imagine. Although it may feel like we’re in a Twilight Zone episode at the moment, there are opportunities all around us. It’s up to us as leaders to spot them and make the most of them.

As for me, I’ve been living my new normal since early last week. No more 6AM wake up. Where am I going? It’s now 7AM, and I’m watching the Today show while responding to emails in bed and then it’s downstairs to the kitchen at 8AM for a little Morning Joe (both kinds) and work until 9:30. Since my gym is closed, I head out at 9:30 for my daily 3-mile walk through the literally empty streets of Manhattan. I can actually go blocks at a time on 5th Ave, Madison Ave, Park Ave and not see a soul. Manhattan is literally a ghost town.

I get back home about 10:15 or so, have breakfast, get back to work and eagerly await New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily news conference, must-see TV under the circumstances.

It’s then work until about 3:30PM, when Tracy and I get the kids out of the house for our daily trek to Central Park. There are people out, not a lot, but everyone is practicing social distancing. We get home about 5, another couple of hours on the phone and computer, before cocktail time. And we do the same thing again the next day…

Stay healthy everyone!