The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for April 16

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Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.

Small Business News Highlights for April 16

  • Unemployment claims jump by another 5 million
  • SBA announces freeze on lender and borrower applications for PPP
  • States revisit minimum wage debate in light of economic crisis

“While this wave may be slightly smaller than the previous two weeks, the labor market is still being battered by a historic storm. Whether these workers will be recalled to their former jobs or get hired at new ones is a matter of when the public feels safe returning to a semblance of normalcy.”

The number of unemployment claims rose by another 5.2 million last week, bringing the total of out-of-work Americans to over 22 million — or 13.5% of the country’s labor force.

Though the federal government responded quickly to expand unemployment benefits to keep pace with COVID-19 related layoffs, benefits programs are administered by each state and economists warn that many states could run out of money before the economic crisis is over.

“The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding.”

The Small Business Administration today announced that funding has officially run out and that it is no longer accepting applications for borrowers — or lenders — for the program.

The program approved over 1.6 million applications, with $349 billion worth of loans disbursed from 4,975 different lenders. Despite the scope of the program, many small business owners claim that the terms of the loans did not actually offer the kind of help needed to survive the crisis.

“When the COVID-19 crisis passes, there will be scorched earth on the employment and restaurant landscape — placing the subsequent minimum wage increases on ‘pause’ as authorized by the minimum wage law will help mitigate the damage.”

A growing number of states are revisiting proposed increases to the minimum wage in light of the economic crisis. California, Illinois, and Virginia are just 3 of the states where lawmakers, business owners and workers rights activists are debating what raising, or rather, delaying a raise to, the minimum wage would mean for employers and the workforce.


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