The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for May 11

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

ice-cream-shop

Small Business News Highlights for May 11: 

Highlights: 

  • PPP rules revision causes more small businesses to return funds 
  • President Trump floats idea of payments drawn from future Social Security benefits
  • Ice Cream shop owner closes after customers refuse to follow guidelines 

New Paycheck Protection Program rules causing SBOs to return money

“I have been a tax lawyer for 31 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are building the plane while it’s in the air.”

Recently released federal guidelines for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are causing more and more business owners to return the money. The deadline to return the funds without penalty has many SBOs scrambling to first understand the requirements before making a decision about how to proceed. 

Though the program was intended to help business owners keep workers on the payroll throughout the public health crisis, many are finding that the terms of the loan and the timing of the disbursement don’t actually meet their needs — or enable them to meet the requirements for having the loan forgiven. 

Additionally, as businesses begin opening without a clear sense of the risk or adequate safeguards, many workers are choosing to stay home rather than go back to work

Trump proposes letting workers draw from Social Security early

“Asking working Americans to give up even one dime of their future Social Security benefits to survive today’s economic crisis is a harebrained idea that would hurt families for decades to come.” 

As Americans continue to struggle to pay rent and buy food in the midst of historic unemployment, politicians are weighing the options for additional aid programs. President Trump has advocated a payroll tax break and is also reportedly considering letting workers collect Social Security benefits early in exchange for reduced payments in the future.

The proposal, which would supposedly let Americans draw $5,000 from their Social Security benefits now, has drawn much criticism from people who believe that it would force people to make desperate choices and is  another step in dismantling the system. 

Small businesses have hard time compelling customers to follow safety measures

“Now I open the doors to a whole new world, with gloves and masks and we’re running around like chickens, and people are like where’s my ice cream? I’m not a trauma center, it’s ice cream!”

A small business owner in Massachusetts closed the doors to his ice cream shop 1 day after opening after customers refused to follow social distancing practices and other measures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. While employers can require employees to wear protective equipment, they can’t compel customers to do so — even though they can refuse service on that basis. 

Increasingly, businesses are requiring patrons to cover their faces before entering. When customers refuse, the interactions can turn violent, causing some businesses to close. 

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