Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Small Business News Highlights for April 24:
- Present Trump signs new COVID-19 relief legislation into law
- Businesses weigh the cost as Georgia and other states begin to reopen
- COVID-19 pandemic causing employees to work longer hours
- 14% of women considering quitting work during coronavirus crisis
Trump signs coronavirus relief bill into law
“Great for small businesses, great for the workers.”
President Trump signed the newest round of economic stimulus legislation into law today, as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passes 50,0000 people. The nearly half-trillion dollar rescue package replenishes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), bolsters the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program, and provides funding for hospitals and testing. The SBA announced that it will resume accepting application on Monday at 10:30am EST.
Meanwhile, as some publicly traded companies, such as Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris, have pledged to return the money they received from the PPP, other companies are arguing that they are using the money exactly as the law intended, to keep their employees employed.
Georgia businesses debate re-opening
“I don’t understand whether or not the public will have confidence to meet with us.”
As Georgia and other states begin allowing businesses to reopen, many business owners are weighing the benefit against the risks. Personal services businesses, like nail salons and barber shops, may be allowed to reopen, but following safe practices and social distancing guidelines will prove to be a challenge that some businesses owners aren’t sure they want to take on yet.
Some businesses, however, decided to forego the risk — and public ire — and were greeted with phones ringing off the hook as people clamored to make appointments.
Remote workers are feeling the stress
“The modern workplace is a waking nightmare for any employee trying to focus on important work and shut out distractions.”
Even before the global pandemic drove many to take up working from home, American workers were reporting historic levels of work-related stress and difficulty achieving a healthy work-life balance. This trend has only been exacerbated by the current realities of trying to juggle working from home, family life, and managing anxiety about the future. In fact, as early as January 2020, a poll found that 43% of professionals found working from home more stressful than going to the office. A Gallup poll found that 81% of people report that COVID-19 has caused significant disruptions to their life.
In light of these challenges, managers are encouraged to adopt flexible working hours, encourage employees to take time off, and to use online training platforms.
Women considering quitting work during COVID-19 pandemic
“The biggest part of my decision is how to best take care of my kids. If the global situation weren’t happening, they’d be in school right now.”
The stress of working from home can be especially pronounced for women who shoulder the bulk of the responsibility for caring for children while schools and daycares are closed. A recent survey found that since the COVID-19 pandemic started, 14% of women have considered quitting their job.
I know I have.