The Daily Rundown

SBDR: 25% SBOs Fear They Can’t Make Payroll, Office Romances at All-time Low

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In today’s SBRD, we’ll face our fears … or at least the fears of the SBOs who responded to a recent survey. Next, we’ll look at the role HR might play in workplace romances before checking out an innovative partnership between a St. Louis business and a local nonprofit that focuses on workforce development.  

Quarter of SBOs fear they will be unable to make payroll at least once in 2020

A new survey shows that small business owners are worried about the future, despite strong economic indicators. In fact, nearly 25% of respondents anticipate that they will be unable to make payroll at least once this year, causing over 5 million Americans to miss a paycheck. Another finding? These worries keep SBOs up at night, with a significant number reporting that business stresses bleed over into their personal lives. 

The Number: 35%. 35% of SBOs report that they’re still concerned about how tariffs will impact their business in 2020. 

The Quote:  “As we move into the new year, it’s important to take time to assess the concerns of the people who run small businesses, because, in many ways, they are often the first to feel the impact of economic change.”

Workplace romance: HR’s role in matters of the heart 

Given the percentage of our waking hours spent in the workplace, it’s not surprising when romance blossoms between coworkers. Familiarity breeds flirtation, after all. New data indicates, however, that in the era of the #MeToo movement, office romances are at a low-time low. While some bosses ban relationships between coworkers altogether, other companies encourage warm, close relationships as a means of creating a positive environment that promotes retention.  

The Number: 36%. In 2018, 36% of employees admitted to dating an employee. 

The Quote:  “Flirtation had very clear benefits in terms of lower stress levels. It protects participants from stressors like workplace injustice.”

St. Louis consultant and nonprofit team up to promote workforce development 

A cool collective in St. Louis is addressing a local workforce shortage in an innovative way. Collective Thread teaches immigrant women how to sew and they, in turn, support local designers and businesses in need of small-batch manufacturing. Genius!

The Number: 50. In the first 2 years of the program, 5 volunteers taught 50 different women how to sew. The women then start out earning $10 per hour. 

The Quote: Miller saw a paradox in the shortage of industrial sewers: Small-batch manufacturers can’t stay in business without a workforce. But no one will even get trained in the field without the hope of a job.”

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