The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for April 15

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

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Small Business News Highlights for April 15

  • IRS releases stimulus check payment tracking tool
  • Paycheck Protection Program coffers on pace to dry up by end of today
  • U.S. retail sector saw historic drop in March 
  • FBI warns employers of employees faking coronavirus infections 

“Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned — there is absolutely no delay whatsoever.”

The IRS website saw a huge number of visitors today, but not for the usual reason that drives traffic to the site on April 15. The agency launched an online form to help Americans get their cash payments faster.

While many Americans have already received payments, others are still waiting for relief. Democratic lawmakers are calling for $2,000 monthly payments for the duration of the crisis, and President Trump has signaled his support to send out even more checks (bearing his name). 

“The important point here is that this program is being touted as aid for small businesses, but in the cases of many hospitality and service businesses, its usefulness as aid to the business is actually severely limited.” 

While individuals wait for their money, small businesses continue to wait for funds promised by the federal government’s CARES Act provisions. The Paycheck Protection program could run out of cash as soon as today and the many small business owners in the hospitality and service sectors claim that it doesn’t really benefit their company under its current provisions.

Still no movement yet by Congress to replenish funds for the program. 

“In general consumer spending is going to look about as bad as it has ever been, although there will be some categories of resilience.” 

The U.S. retail sector saw a record drop for March as stores across the country shuttered due to mandatory closure orders. Sales dropped by an average of 8.7% across most industries, though grocery stores saw gains as Americans stocked up to stay home.  

Finally, as if business owners don’t already have enough to worry about, the FBI issued a warning to be on alert for employees submitting fake doctors notes claiming they tested positive for COVID-19. When an employee does test positive, companies must close and undergo sanitization measures, potentially costing thousands of dollars. 

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