The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for July 24

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 July 24: 

  • Treasury Secretary says same people likely to get a 2nd stimulus check for same amount
  • Rise in unemployment indicates the economy’s recovery is reversing course 
  • How the pandemic highlights the difference between skilled freelancers and gig workers. 

2nd round of stimulus checks likely to be part of new bill

“The president’s preference is to make sure that we send out direct payments quickly.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin went on record yesterday, announcing that another round of direct cash payments is likely to be part of the next stimulus bill and that, despite Congressional Republicans statements to the contrary, they will likely be going to the same people and worth the same amount of money. 

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are discussing whether they should continue funding federally supplemented unemployment benefits and if so, by how much?

Economic recovery is reversing course

“At this stage, you’re seeing all the wrong elements for recovery. A deteriorating health situation, a weakening labor market, and a softening path for demand.”

As lawmakers wrestle over both the broad strokes and fine points of the next round of economic aid, new jobless claims went up last week. This increase reverses a nearly 4-month long downward trend, confirming many economists’ concerns that the economic recovery touted earlier this spring is now headed in the wrong direction. 

Currently, 30 million Americans are drawing unemployment benefits, which works out to roughly 1 in 5 workers, as companies big and small furlough and lay off workers. 

Unemployed Americans turn to gig work, freelancing

“While the work they do is different, it doesn’t make any single worker more or less important than the other, and it’s important that policymakers in D.C. see the situation as such.”

Unemployed Americans looking for ways to pay their bills are turning to both gig work and freelancing to supplement their income. While both options offer people flexibility during the pandemic, gig work and freelancing are two separate types of work and lawmakers considering ways to stimulate the economy and protect workers should be aware of the differences. 

For starters, freelancers are able to set their own rate and choose their clients while gig workers are usually forced to work long, irregular hours — often for tips. Furthermore, gig workers are less likely to have health insurance benefits and are often front-line workers who are more at risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

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