The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for May 12

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

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Small Business News Highlights for May 12: 

Highlights:

  • House Democrats present $3 trillion COVID-19 rescue package; Republicans balk
  • L.A. businesses fail to follow reopening guidelines as Dr. Fauci warns against rushing 
  • One in 3 employees working from home are less productive now 

House proposed new round of COVID-19 relief

“We must think big for the people now, because if we don’t, it will cost more in lives and livelihood later.”

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced a new round of COVID-19 aid legislation today. The $3 trillion program, dubbed the Heroes Act, includes provisions to provide money to state, local and tribal governments, extend unemployment benefits through January, provide increased direct cash payments to families and hazard pay to essential workers, and help struggling small businesses. The House may vote on the legislation as early as Friday, though Republican leadership has announced that the bill will die in the Senate. Republican lawmakers have balked at passing more legislation before all the funds that have already been appropriated even hit the economy. Instead, they are focusing on legislation to protect business owners from liability if they reopen. 

Businesses fail to follow reopening guidelines

“As a reminder, retail establishments are closed to public entry and must ensure compliance with all protocols before reopening. Inspectors will continue to monitor for compliance and ensure that all adhere to the health officer order.”

California health officials conducted a survey of businesses over the weekend and found that 162 out of 410 establishments were in violation of the public health guidelines governing the reopening of the state’s economy.

Even though some retailers were allowed to open for curbside pickup, county health officials found many businesses “allowing customers into stores, not following physical distancing measures and not requiring customers to wear cloth face coverings.”

Meanwhile, back in Washington, DC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the Coronavirus Task Force, testified before Congress today that he’s concerned that not following proper social distancing guidelines and opening up businesses while the number of cases continues to rise could lead to more dramatic outbreaks in the near future, ultimately causing even more harm to the economy. 

1 in 3 employees less productive working from home

“We’ve tracked all of our key performance indicators, and there has been no change. We keep hearing from members, ‘if you hadn’t announced you were all working from home, we never would have known.'”

While some companies have barely missed a beat during the process of transitioning employees to working from home, a new survey indicates that 1 in 3 American workers are less productive since leaving the office. 

The study found that employees actually work fewer than 8 hours per day now and that 30% also admit to being less productive while actually working. 

Even though remote work was gaining popularity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over half of all workers had never worked from home before, signaling that a learning curve could be partly responsible for the drop in productivity. Additionally, the need to take care of children, oversee homeschooling, and care for sick family members can also negatively impact employee productivity. 

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