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 9:
- As economy reopens, Americans plan to spend less
- Jobless claims exceed 1 million for 16 straight weeks
- Infectious disease specialists helps businesses understand the dos and don’ts of reopening
Americans spending less, SMBs fear going out of business
“The things that people are planning to cut back on are some of the things that are much harder to keep your distance.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape many aspects of public and private life — including how people are choosing to spend their money. A recent survey found that 40% of people who spent money on movie and concert tickets, live shows, sporting, and other events prior to the public health crisis said that they will no longer be spending money on those activities.
This finding strikes fear in the heart of many small business owners, as 60% of SBOs acknowledge that they need consumer spending to return to its pre-pandemic level by the end of the year in order to avoid going out of business.
Unemployment claims hit 2.3 million last week
“We’re still seeing an enormous amount of job losses. And they’re of particular concern because they’re more likely to be permanent.”
While the overall unemployment rate has improved, down to just over 11% last month compared to 14.7% in April, the U.S. registered its 16th straight week of more than 1 million new jobless claims last week.
New unemployment claims for last week topped at over 2.3 million — and while this number does reflect the downtrend, these claims concern economists because they are more likely to represent permanent losses to the economy.
As of June 20, 33 million Americans were collecting unemployment benefits. The federal supplement of $600 per week will expire at the end of this month.
Infectious disease specialists turn to consulting
“Just because it’s allowed doesn’t mean it’s safe.”
The dearth of guidelines and ever-changing information from public health officials has caused significant problems for business owners looking for guidance to safely reopen. Enter Covid Consultants, a consulting firm dedicated to helping companies find ways to open safely and protect employees and customers alike.
The rapid growth of the coronavirus consulting industry reflects the fine line that many businesses find themselves walking, desperate to open but gravely concerned about safety and liability issues.