Adds COVID-19 background, remarks from minister cited by The Times

Oct 9 (Reuters)British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will announce a local furlough scheme on Friday in which the government will subsidise two thirds of the wages of workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses that are forced to close to stop the spread of the coronavirus, The Times newspaper reported.

“Employers will be able to access the scheme for as long as pubs, restaurants and other businesses are closed,” the newspaper’s deputy political editor, Steven Swinford, said on Twitter.

The Times quoted an unidentified minister as saying there was frustration in government at the failure of the Treasury to bring forward the measures sooner.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported earlier that Sunak was putting together a new support package for jobs in a furlough-style bailout for coronavirus hotspots plunged into local lockdowns next week.

Britain has already suffered the highest death toll in Europe and the worst economic contraction of any leading nation from the coronavirus outbreak.

Its parliament will vote on Tuesday on the imposition of a 10 p.m. closing time for English pubs, bars and restaurants, a measure the government says is necessary to tackle COVID-19, but which the hospitality industry says is destroying businesses.

More restrictions are being considered for parts of northern England, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Thursday.

Local media reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will soon launch a simplified three-tier local lockdown code.

Areas in Tier 1 will continue with the current social distancing measures while areas in Tier 2 will have a ban on households mixing. The worst-affected areas in Tier 3 will have to close hospitality.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Chris Reese and Richard Pullin)

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The views

Liz Erickson Impact Award honoree Joanne Canady-Brown, Community Award honoree Smith Family Foundation and Corporate Award honoree NJM Insurance Group have been selected as this year’s Impact Awards recipients for their commitment to community service.

The Impact Awards are given every year by NonProfitConnect, a Mercer County–based nonprofit that seeks to build “an increasingly diverse, skilled, and engaged group of nonprofit board and staff leaders.”

The honorees will be celebrated at NonProfitConnect’s Annual Impact Awards event on Oct. 29, starting at 5:30 p.m.

“As an organization committed to building nonprofit capacity, we are eager to recognize and honor individuals and organizations in our community that are engaging fellow community members and giving of themselves,” said Allison Howe, NonProfitConnect’s executive director. “As we face unprecedented challenges, it is inspiring to see local companies and leaders rallying resources to keep our nonprofits supported.”

Joanne Canady-Brown is being recognized with the Liz Erickson Impact Award, named for the late Elizabeth Erickson, a champion for Princeton-area community service.

Canady-Brown, the owner of local bakery The Gingered Peach, has been intimately involved in the Mercer County community. She has used sales of her tasty baked goods to raise several thousand dollars for multiple nonprofits including activating her “Dazzle Doughnuts” to support Young Audiences, a nonprofit supporting arts programs for children to her “Blackout Cookies” which boast a delightful mix of black and white swirls to fund I Am Trenton, a nonprofit supporting Trenton community projects.

During the pandemic, she continued her partnership with TASK to bring potato rolls to food insecure residents and provided trays of pastries to hospital providers who had not received other appreciation.

The Community Award, which recognizes a nonprofit that is making a significant impact will go to the Smith Family Foundation this year.

Founded in 2016, its mission is to

After months of pandemic-related financial strain and years of uncertainty over its future, Bartell Drugs, one of the oldest companies in Washington state and one of the most familiar names in the Seattle business community, is being sold.

The 67-store regional drugstore chain, which has been owned by the same family since its founding in Seattle’s Central District in 1890, will be acquired by Rite Aid for $95 million, the companies announced Wednesday. 

“We felt that this was the only answer,” said George D. Bartell, co-owner and chairman of the company his grandfather, George H. Bartell Sr., founded 130 years ago. “It was getting more difficult for regional operators to compete in the market.”

Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid, which has about 2,500 stores in 19 states, including 69 in and around Seattle, will keep the Bartell name on the stores. It disclosed no plans to close stores or cut any of Bartell’s about 1,600 retail staff. The sale is expected to close in December.

Bartell’s presence across neighborhoods was a big part of the attraction, said Heyward Donigan, Rite Aid president and chief executive officer.

“That’s kind of who we want to be, more and more, is your local neighborhood pharmacy,” said Donigan, adding that Bartell has been successful reaching demographic groups, including young middle-income mothers, that Rite Aid was particularly interested in.

“Together, this is going to be a terrific combination,” Donigan said. 

News of the sale, or of the business realities behind it, may come as a surprise to many of Bartell’s customers. The privately held company has shared little financial data previously and outwardly appeared to be navigating the economic storms that have harried many brick-and-mortar firms. It opened a new site, in Belltown, as recently as 2019, a year it generated $550 million in sales.

But even

Columns share an author’s personal perspective and are often based on facts in the newspaper’s reporting or from personal experience.

Largely unnoticed amidst this year’s significant events is the current historically low interest rate environment. These low interest rates present an opportunity for making gifts to family members at a low gift tax cost. This article will discuss three possible transfer strategies that are made more attractive by low interest raes.

Intra-family loans. A loan is not a gift because the lender receives a promise to be repaid. For a loan to be respected by the IRS it needs to be a bona fide debt and contain an interest rate at least equal to the monthly published applicable federal rate (AFR). For loans made in September, the short-term (three years or less) AFR is .14% (that’s .0014!); the mid-term (over three years but less than 10 years) AFR is .35%; and the long-term (over 9 years) AFR is 1%. That means a parent or grandparent could loan money to a family member for almost no interest. If the parent or grandparent later wishes to forgive a portion of the loan, they can do so provided the loan was valid and there was no preconceived plan to forgive the loan.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT). A GRAT is a trust used for estate planning purposes. The basic concept is that the donor transfers property to the GRAT in return for receiving an annuity payment over a period of years. At the end of the GRAT term, whatever is left in the trust passes to the trust’s beneficiaries. A GRAT is effective at passing assets to family members if the rate of return of the trust’s assets