The Daily Rundown

SBDR: Coronavirus Update for March 16, 2020

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

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We’re dispensing with our regular format to provide an overview of some of the ways that the coronavirus and Covid-19 are impacting the small business community currently. 

Due to “technical” changes, the House of Representatives will have to vote again on the Covid-19 Aid package that was voted on over the weekend. The delay will give small businesses a chance to work with lawmakers to ease some of the burdens that the bill previously mandated. As Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said: “We are hearing feedback that certain small businesses are very concerned about the burden of this.”

Major metropolitan areas around the country are shutting down bars, restaurants and venues to patrons and allowing establishments to continue delivery services only. Despite pleas by federal officials to practice “social distancing” many young people continued to go out over the weekend. 

The San Francisco Bay Area ordered a shelter in place until at least April 7. Only essential businesses, such grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, are allowed to stay open.

Meanwhile, professional athletes and team owners are doing their best to soften the blow dealt to hourly workers and small businesses by the cancellation of the sporting events. Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban is offering to reimburse employees who buy breakfast or lunch from small business owners, in fact. You might never hear us say it again, but today we say: Go Mavs!

Similarly, GrubHub announced over the weekend that it will not charge businesses commission fees in an attempt to help support independent restaurants in the coming weeks. 

Social media is full of great ideas for ways for small businesses to stay active, engaged and “open” right now. Offers for free shipping, discounted gift certificates, and promotions encouraged consumers to support small businesses even if they can’t physically go to the shop. 

While these are uncertain times and misinformation and fear are spreading on pace with the virus, we continue to have great confidence in the ability of American small business owners to rise to the occasion at hand, to do what’s right by their employees and neighbors and to meet challenges with ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Take care, please. The country relies on you.   

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