Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Let’s close out the week by looking at the surprising types of workers in California who want to be classified as independent contractors, women veterans with STEM companies, and coworking spaces popping up in expected–and unexpected–places. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to do your taxes!
California gig workers and small businesses alike are urging state lawmakers to exempt more types of workers from being redefined as employees under the state’s ABC law. Currently, the state legislature is considering Assembly Bill 5, which would allow doctors, insurance agents, securities brokers, and direct sellers to maintain independent contractor status under the 2018 California Supreme Court ruling.
Advocates in favor of expanding the bill’s reach are lobbying lawmakers to include jobs such as architects, engineers, attorneys, therapists, accounts, barbers, cosmetologists and others who hold an advanced degree, a license from the state or simply want to retain their independent status.
The Number: 2 million. California is home to an estimated 2 million independent contract workers.
The Quote: “I like not having a boss telling me what to do and what time I have to be at work.”
Research from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families found that female veterans, who make up the fastest growing subpopulation in the armed forces community, are increasingly involved with STEM-related startup companies. These women, however, face the same obstacles as the wider population of female entrepreneurs while also dealing with challenges unique to their veteran status.
Programs such as Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) can provide valuable resources and guidance to women vets as they start and grow their STEM business.
The Number: 2X. Female veterans are twice as likely to pursue STEM-related occupations as their civilian counterparts, but 83% of those surveyed cited obstacles to starting their own company.
The Quote: “[N]umerous programs are targeted toward veteran entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs — even those interested in STEM businesses specifically. However, these services are often disjointed and don’t address the unique needs of a subgroup like women veteran entrepreneurs, leaving them confused as to where to begin.”
Office Depot stores in California, Illinois, and Texas and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan are trying to attract small business owners, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs by opening coworking spaces. Office Depot sees the move as a natural extension of their business support services while the Boys & Girls Clubs organization wants to raise revenue to support their youth-focused programs.
The Number: $400,000. The President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan believes that offering adult coworking memberships and facilities rental could net the nonprofit an additional $300,000 to $400,000 each year.
The Quote: “We have our doors open (for youth) from 3 p.m.-8 p.m. How do (we) maximize that facility during times kids aren’t there? That’s where we saw the opportunity to offer adults use of the club.”
Rep. Anthony Delgado of New York introduced a bill to the US House Small Business Committee that would create a single website housing all compliance and regulatory information for small businesses. The bipartisan-supported legislation, which requires the SBA’s Office of the Ombudsman to create the website, seeks to remove some of the red tape encountered by small business owners.
The Number: 25. Rep. Delgado has owned a small business for over 25 years.
The Quote: “That is why I am proud to partner with Dr. Joyce to introduce H.R. 2142, a bill that would pool together valuable resources for small businesses, creating a one-stop shop to help them comply with federal regulations.”
Even though there’s no law requiring your business to have an employee handbook or manual, it’s a great way to lay out important information like your business’s mission statement, values, and policies. If you don’t have one, check out some great examples here. Download our employee handbook template below– for free!