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 March 27:
- The president signs historic economic rescue legislation
- Millions of undocumented workers excluded from receiving aid
- Spike in unemployment translates to spike in number of uninsured
“If congressmen are complaining that it’s hard to travel, well, what about the truckers that I saw on the road when I drove to D.C.? Hitch a ride with the trucker.”
Despite the protests of a lone Republican congressman, the House of Representatives passed the $2.2 trillion aid package approved by the Senate, the third piece of legislation in the government’s economic rescue plan.
As we’ve discussed before, the legislation calls for expanded unemployment benefits, direct cash payments to American households, and billions of dollars in federally-backed loans for small businesses. The president signed the legislation into law shortly after it arrived on his desk. While Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says the checks will begin hitting mailboxes within 3 weeks, most experts agree that it could be May before Americans see any relief.
“From a public health perspective, you cannot have an effective national response to a pandemic that excludes enormous segments of the population. That’s both illogical and immoral.”
Many workers won’t see any help at all, however, as the stimulus legislation does not include payments to undocmented workers. While most federal benefits don’t extend to people who are in the country illegally, public health experts and immigration advocates agree that excluding these workers from financial support during this time could have terrible consequences and undermine the effort to keep people home.
“With the number of people losing their jobs, there’s little doubt that the number of people uninsured is increasing right now.”
For American workers who receive their health insurance through their jobs, the prospect of being unemployed in the midst of a global health pandemic is especially frightening. As the number of jobless claims rises, so does the number of uninsured people in this country. While there is some indication that the CDC has the authority to test and treat people with COVID-19 without insurance, many people will still not have their basic healthcare needs met.
Despite the continuing spread of the virus and the grinding stress and uncertainty faced across the nation, you don’t have to look far to find people helping their neighbors during this difficult moment in the world’s history.
Please continue to take care of yourself and others.