It’s National Women’s Small Business Month, Big Tech Heads to DC, DOL sets new OT rule

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October 1 marks the start of National Women’s Small Business Month, so watch for interesting facts and cool stories about female SBOs in the days to come. In the meantime, Amazon and friends are headed to Washington, DC, to testify, Arizona is helping its small businesses cross the border(s), and a closer look at the DOL’s new overtime rule.

Big tech firms face congressional scrutiny for their impact on small biz

Big Tech trifecta Amazon.com, Google, and Facebook will appear before the U.S. House Small Business Committee to answer questions about their impact on the nation’s small businesses. The companies, already under investigation by the House Antitrust Subcommittee and the Department of Justice, face criticism for thwarting SMB attempts to compete in the marketplace.

The Number: 50,000. In 2018, more than 50,000 small and medium-sized businesses had more than $500,000 worth of sales on Amazon. 

The Quote: “Chairwoman Velázquez believes that small businesses deserve to compete on a level playing field and hopes the hearing will be an opportunity for the committee to examine how small businesses are faring given the dominance of big tech companies in areas ranging from e-commerce to internet traffic.”

Arizona Commerce Authority poised to help AZ business owners expand their reach

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) began enrolling participants yesterday in their Stated Trade Expansion Program (STEP). ACA teamed up with the U.S. SBA to acquire matching funds to help small businesses receive training and tools to market and eport their goods to international markets.

The Number: 41. ACA is one of 41 state-level agencies promoting international trade for U.S. small businesses. 

The Quote: “These grants are especially helpful as our country is in the midst of negotiating a number of trade agreements, including the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).”

New DOL rule sets $35K threshold for non-exempt and OT pay

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a revised rule setting the salary threshold for overtime at just over $35,000. The new rule means that approximately 1.3 million Americans will be eligible for overtime after the new rule takes effect on January 1, 2020. This rule implements the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandate and raises the threshold from the current cutoff of $23,600 annually. 

The Number: $684. Starting on January 1, 2020, employees making $684 or less will be classified as non-exempt and eligible for overtime pay.  

The Quote: “This can be a moving target — this is something employers need to revisit periodically and take a look at every once in a while to make sure they’re still classified correctly.”

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