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 July 7:
- Treasury releases more names of businesses that received PPP loans
- Lack of child care keeping women on unemployment
- Gig workers face stiff competition for jobs
Treasury releases names of businesses that received PPP loans
“It didn’t reach the industries that needed it, and it looked like it didn’t reach the states that were hardest hit.”
The Treasury Department released data on businesses that received money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) earlier this year. The move came as criticism mounted against the Trump Administration over the lack of transparency surrounding who received loans.
While the data indicates that restaurants, medical offices, and car dealerships were among the top loan recipients, critics of the program note that the bulk of the money did not go to states or industries that needed it most.
Additionally, the data shows that businesses with ties to members of Congress and other government officials, as well as companies backed by private equity firms, also received money from the taxpayer funded program.
Women stay on unemployment due to lack of safe childcare
“If you cannot make families feel that their kids are going to be safe and secure, in a safe environment, in a learning environment, we’re not going to get our economy back on track.”
As companies call workers back to work, many women are forced to stay on unemployment due to a lack of safe childcare options amidst the ongoing public health crisis.
As social distancing and maximum capacity requirements change to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, economists estimate that up to 50% of childcare establishments will be forced to close. This will have severe impacts on other sectors of the economy and will negatively impact the livelihood of tens of millions of American households.
Research shows that women continue to bear the brunt of care for children, often to the detriment of their careers and mental health.
Gig workers face job competition
“We are not getting paid nearly enough when we’re on the front lines interacting with multiple people daily.”
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic sent the economy into a tailspin, many gig workers were already juggling multiple “gigs” in an attempt to make ends meet. Now, as unemployment remains at a near historically high level, many of these flexible workers find that they are battling for even few opportunities.
Currently, the U.S. has about 1.5 million gig workers, though as unemployment has climbed, so has the number of people signing up for gig-type apps and platforms. While gig workers do allow industries to pivot quickly, these workers often do not have protections and benefits, such as health insurance, even though they are often on the front lines of interacting with the public.