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 22:
- Lawmakers propose giving small businesses second PPP loan
- President Trump expected to announce order stopping work visa program
- Small businesses scrambled to adopt technology to survive — will it be enough?
Lawmakers propose giving small businesses 2nd PPP loan
“Congress must once again act urgently to support our most vulnerable small businesses through this crisis, so our economy can recover as quickly as possible after the pandemic.”
A group of lawmakers has proposed giving some of the nation’s most vulnerable small businesses access to additional funds through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The new legislation is called the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, and in order to qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and be able to demonstrate that they’ve lost more than half of their revenue due to the pandemic.
The bill has not yet passed in the Senate, where it was introduced, though the House is considering a companion piece of legislation.
Trump to suspend foreign work visas and green cards
“We urge you to avoid immigration actions, either temporary or long term, that would cause uncertainty and impose great costs on our nation at this critical time.”
President Trump is expected to announce an executive order this week suspending visa work programs that hire foreign workers.
While the details of the order have not been elucidated, a coalition of businesses from across many different sectors have already made their displeasure known. In particular, the manufacturing, technology, consulting, and educational sectors have alerted the administration that any suspension — even a temporary one — will have profound consequences on their operations.
Among the visa programs being suspended are the H-1B visa, which generally go to computer programers and skilled workers, L-1s which apply to executives transferred with companies, H-2Bs, which are for seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, and J-1 visas for au pairs and students on work-study or summer programs.
Businesses who pivoted online still struggle for survival
“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online. We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, small businesses found that pivoting to operate online was often their only lifeline to survival.
Despite their quick adoption of technology and e-commerce platforms, many small businesses still find themselves struggling to compete with Amazon and big retailers, while 1 in 4 restaurants won’t be able to reopen when dine-in restrictions are lifted. Furthermore, online sales are less profitable due to the cost of shipping and returns and often require fewer employees to manage, cutting back the number of jobs.