What Happens When So Many Big Events Get Canceled? 'There's No Precedent For This'
Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks. Follow him on Twitter.
With virtually every event nationwide now canceled for at least the next two months, Cameron Argetsinger, who specializes in insurance law, says his phone has been ringing nonstop.
"There's no precedent for this," he told dot.LA.
The Centers for Disease Control recommended Sunday that events with more than 50 attendees be canceled or postponed for the next two months. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom banned gatherings of 250 through at least March. Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered restaurants, bars, nightclubs and gyms closed last night.
Most conference organizers did not wait for official orders, with Southern California events such as Coachella, E3, and The Milken Global Conference already delayed or canceled.
Argetsinger, Special Counsel at the Washington D.C. based firm, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, has been getting calls from conference organizers desperate to recoup losses from events they have to cancel or postpone because of coronavirus. He says most big conferences buy cancellation insurance, but the majority of policies have exclusions for communicable disease. Policyholders can choose to pay slightly higher premiums to be covered against disease, though many do not carry the extra coverage, including South By Southwest, which will now reportedly be on the hook for tens of millions dollars.
"The devil is in the details," said Argetsinger.
For those trying to file claims, Argetsinger recommends policyholders be as thorough as possible and document losses meticulously.
"Event organizers who have bought cancellation policies should know that they may be facing an uphill battle in trying to obtain coverage from insurers who are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cancellation claims and who are trying to limit their own losses," Argetsinger said. "It is critical for policyholders to understand the terms of their policies and to comply with all of the requirements that the policy places on them."
He says it helps that governments are increasingly banning gatherings, which makes it hard to argue that events could proceed.
"That would strengthen the claim," he said.
Postponing the Milken Global Conference
On March 7th, executives at the Milken Institute postponed the 23rd annual Global Conference to July. The event, which attracts 4,000 attendees from more than 70 countries to Beverly Hills normally takes over the entire Beverly Hilton – from the same massive ballroom where the Golden Globes are held to dozens of smaller rooms. It is likely not possible to replicate the same thing this summer, though the institute is currently in negotiations with the hotel about how much of the conference can take place there and would only say that it would be happening "somewhere in Los Angeles."
"There is no guarantee of how things are going to look in July, but all of the best advice we were getting in terms of monitoring the track of the virus was that what we've seen in Asia was there was a peak over a period of about two months," said Katherine O'Reilly, Milken's Executive Director of Business and Development.
Milken has a full-time staff of about 25 working on the conference year round and another 100 who pitch in once the date gets closer, all of whom will now have to turn their attention to trying to reschedule panels and add new ones to reflect how the world has changed.
"It's a very heavy lift logistically," said O'Reilly.
O'Reilly didn't know the financial toll of postponing the conference and what might be covered by insurance, but if the conference is ultimately canceled or scaled back, it would be a major blow for Milken since the conference – with ticket prices in the thousands of dollars and lucrative sponsorships – covers much of the Institute's operating budget.
"Our expectation is that the sponsors are sticking with us," said O'Reilly. "For a lot of people this conference is important to their business, so they want to see it continue."The wider economic impact of the conference not taking place totals at least $19 million, PredictHQ, a provider of event data, told dot.LA. It says all told, billions of dollars will be lost from the tens of thousands of events not taking place around the world.
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
'Going Public' is a Fintech Spin on Reality TV and the JOBS Act, with Viewers as Potential Investors
If you've ever watched Shark Tank and wished that you could hop in the waters and invest alongside Mark Cuban and Mr. Wonderful, Going Public may be just the show for you.
The new series will showcase five companies preparing to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Over the course of 10 episodes, viewers will follow the company founders as they promote their offering and receive feedback and advice from mentors, professional investors and other executives. Those watching at home who think they've spotted a winner will have a chance to get in on the action at the initial public offering (IPO) price for the companies that end up going public.
LA Tech Updates: Fisker to Go Public; LA Bars, Gyms and Salons Go Dark Again; Apple Gives $400M to Stem Housing Crisis
- LA Bars, Gyms and Salons Go Dark Again
- Fisker set to go public with $2.9b valuation, EV SUV to roll out by 2022
- Apple Allocates $400M to Affordable Housing in California
Southern California Bars, Restaurants, Salons, Gyms, Places of Worship Must Shut Down Indoor Operations Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyMDM0Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTEyNzMzOX0.iAGyu93QLg4u7of6jR5kB1LcjJs1dH_dlc2ndkknWGs/img.jpg?width=980" id="a7312" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="deb62c3b61d59ad6fe2da2d592929dd4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Image courtesy of Musso & Frank's<p> Bars, gyms, places of worship, salons and offices for non-critical sectors will largely go dark again in Southern California. As coronavirus cases surge, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a list of new statewide restrictions and targeted closures in 30 counties including Los Angeles. </p><p> Statewide, all bars, dine-in restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, museums, card rooms and entertainment centers must close indoor operations, Newsom said on Monday. </p><p> "This is a new statewide action effective today," he said. </p><p> <span></span>In counties on the state's watch list, which include Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, personal care services including salons and barbershops, along with indoor malls and fitness centers must close indoor operations. </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet">Effective immediately, CA is closing some indoor business operations statewide and additional indoor business operations in counties on <a href="https://twitter.com/CAPublicHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CAPublicHealth</a> Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days.<br><br>📍Find the updated list of counties here: <a href="https://t.co/snYe5v55Rw">https://t.co/snYe5v55Rw</a> <a href="https://t.co/W3wBJp2ap5">pic.twitter.com/W3wBJp2ap5</a><br>— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) <a href="https://twitter.com/CAgovernor/status/1282754914821656576?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 13, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> Those on the watchlist are among the most populous parts of the state, containing about 80% of Californians. </p><p> Restaurants are still allowed to stay open for outdoor dining and takeout. <br> </p><p> As of Monday, California had more than 329,000 cases and 7,040 deaths. </p>
Fisker Set to Go Public with $2.9b Valuation, EV SUV to Roll Out by 2022<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1MzYxNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzAwMzU5MH0.KjTk7UCExD0E7jgdTCxdRO7pR0kI-TbtMYQgsD6_HJw/image.jpg?width=980" id="00531" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d9feb4bf17ba371882a99b14ebfa134a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Electric car startup Fisker is set to go public through a merger that values the company at $2.9 billion and allows it to begin producing its first vehicle by 2022. </p><p>Los Angeles-based Fisker <a href="https://www.fiskerinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Fisker-Press-Release-NYSE-Merger-Apollo-Spartan-Energy-FINAL-Sunday-1530PST-D360-FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">announced the deal </a>with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management on Monday. It comes as investors look for the next Tesla Inc, which has seen soaring valuation in recent weeks.</p><hr><p>The deal - expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter - will give Fisker more than $1 billion in gross proceeds to jumpstart production of Fisker Ocean, the vision of founder Henrik Fisker, CEO and chariman of the eponymous named startup. The arrangement spotlights the use of special purpose acquisition companies, known as a SPACs. Another SPAC enabled electric-vehicle startup Nikola Corp to go public last month. Nikola shares have soared since their debut. </p><p>The Fisker Ocean, which premiered at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, starts at $37,499 and is being billed as the most sustainable vehicle, replete with a vegan interior and recycled carpet. Reservations for the either purchase or lease start at $250. </p><p>"This vote of confidence from investors, coupled with our exciting progress on the development of our first vehicle, lays out Fisker's path to 2022 and beyond," said Fisker, a one time Aston-Martin designer. <br></p><p>He <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/ev-startup-fisker-to-go-public-through-merger-with-apollo-backed-firm-at-combined-value-of-2point9-billion.html" target="_blank">told CNBC </a>that the agreement was the best way to get the line of vehicles produced, but said the company does not intend to build its own plant. While the EV market is expected to soar in coming years, startups struggle to find funding for the capital intensive demands of building a car. </p><p>"Our funding, product plans and brand development actions are on course," Fisker said in the announcement. "Prototype vehicles are expected to start durability testing by the end of this year, and we continue to make significant progress on the development of our sales and service proposition."</p><p>Fisker's previous venture, Fisker Automotive, fell into bankruptcy in 2013 and was bought by a Chinese group that rebranded it Karma. That company, which has been struggling after several layoff rounds and restructuring, <a href="https://dot.la/karma-car-2646367624.html" data-linked-post="2646367624" target="_blank">last week secured $100 million from investors</a>. It hopes to use that to raise a total of $300 million and roll out a line of electric vehicles.<br></p>
Apple Allocates $400M to Stem California's Housing Crisis<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1Mzk5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NTcxMzA4NX0.K86VfE92hD0CjisMGk5r9Uc-uVxIrfDtuG4pHn1wbb0/image.jpg?width=980" id="9b774" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f9eea1ac10a1579d146be0552a48fec0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />white and brown wooden house during night timePhoto by Carl Nenzen Loven on Unsplash<p>Apple announced today that it has allocated its first $400 million toward addressing California's housing crisis. The Silicon Valley giant had said last November it would commit $2.5 billion to the effort over multiple years. </p><p>Apple first partnered with Housing Trust Silicon Valley in hopes of bringing affordable housing and mortgage assistance to the Bay Area. Now, they're expanding their partnership to California House Finance Agency (CalHFA), a state agency that supports renters and homebuyers in two ways: Their single family division allows families to apply for loans and work with loan officers directly to tailor a plan to their income. Their multifamily division helps housing developers apply for loans to create more affordable housing.</p><p>The funding is heavily concentrated around the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, but cities statewide will be able to apply for their housing assistance in areas throughout the state where the company is present, including Culver City.</p><p>"Affordable housing means stability and dignity, opportunity and pride. When these things fall out of reach for too many, we know the course we are on is unsustainable, and Apple is committed to being part of the solution," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in a press release. </p><p>The company is dividing its financial assistance to have the broadest possible impact: $1 billion for an affordable housing investment fund, $1 billion for first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund, $300 million Apple-owned land for affordable housing, $150 million Bay Area housing and $50 million to support vulnerable populations.</p><p>The low-cost housing efforts will roll out over the next five years across the Bay Area, but two of the four programs are already underway.</p>
- Karma Automotive Comes Up with $100M in New Funding - dot.LA ›
- Rivian, Fisker and Karma Rake in Funds - dot.LA ›