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 June 12:
- Companies facing pressure to close race-wage disparity gap
- Push to give PTO for voting part of social justice movement
- Senate Democrats pushing to simplify PPP loan forgiveness requirements further
Companies facing pressure to close wage gap
“It’s not just about diverse hires. You want to keep them. The way to do that is to do your internal work as an organization.”
Businesses of all shape and sizes have come out in solidarity with people protesting police brutality and systemic racism in America, but many activists are warning firms that they’re going to have to do more than just release a well-crafted statement.
On average, White workers earn more than their Black counterparts, with White employees with advanced degrees pulling in $44.46 per hour, compared with the $36.23 earned by black workers with advanced degrees.
Activists point to this pay disparity as an important place where companies need to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and root out systemic injustices.
Push to give PTO for voting
“Fixing racial inequities requires policy reform. That can happen only through voting. Our employees shouldn’t have to pay to vote. So we pledge that every one of them will get four hours of paid time off to go vote this year.”
Joining the Time To Vote movement is another way that companies are showing their commitment to enacting meaningful and lasting social change.
By giving employees paid-time-off to vote, employers signal an acknowledgement that social reforms start with public policy and elected officials. Research indicates that salaried workers typically have more leeway to go and vote during the day, putting minority workers in low-wage hourly positions at a disadvantage.
Senate Democrats push to simplify PPP loan forgiveness requirements
“As the program enters its next phase and borrowers begin to seek forgiveness of their loans, there is an immediate need for significant improvements to the forgiveness application process, which is tremendously cumbersome and overly complex, especially for very small businesses, sole proprietors, and underserved borrowers.”
All 47 democratic senators signed a letter requesting the Treasury Department make the process for applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans more simple and streamlined.
The lawmakers also asked for a number of supports for small business owners, including a well-staffed hotline that provides assistance, a shorter form for small loans, measures to help and support minority SBOs, and a suite of online tools to help applicants.