The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for May 15

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 May 15: 

Highlights:

  • Census Bureau releases Small Business Pulse survey 
  • Businesses receiving less than $2 million from PPP don’t have to worry about audits
  • House moves to pass next round of stimulus legislation today 
  • Managing mental health of returning employees

SMBs anticipate long road to recovery

“For the program to be a success ultimately you need to see one thing and only one thing: You need to see job growth go up in the millions in May and in June because that’s when we get closer to the deadline for companies to hire back their workers.”

The Census Bureau released The Small Business Pulse Survey yesterday, indicating that only 20% of business owners believe that their local economy will recover by December of this year. 40% of SBOs believe the recovery will happen sometime in 2021, while another 19% think that it will take between 2 and 4 years. 

Less than 1% of SBOs report that the global health crisis has had a large positive effect on business, while 51.4% report a large negative impact. 

While the government has earmarked hundreds of billions of dollars for small business recovery efforts, only approximately 6 million of the 30 million small businesses in the country both applied for and received loans, despite funding still being available. The Treasury Department has recently announced that businesses who received less than $2 million in loans do not need to worry about being audited

House moves to pass next round of stimulus legislation

“The plan that we are voting on today will make a tremendous difference not only in the budgets of the states but in the lives of the American people.”

Despite a lack of broad support or even ongoing bipartisan negotiations, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the next round of COVID-19 economic relief legislation today. As the Washington Post reports, the bill contains a “dizzying array of provisions,” including:

“Nearly $1 trillion for state, local and tribal governments; another round of direct payments to individuals, up to $6,000 per family, including to unauthorized immigrants; $200 billion for hazard pay for essential workers; $75 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing; increased spending on food stamps; $175 billion in housing support; student loan forgiveness; and a new employee retention tax credit and extension of unemployment benefits.”

Even so, there is dissension within the ranks of House Democrats. 

HR should consider mental health of returning employees

“Employees might be dealing with a spouse who has been furloughed or laid off, so there will be financial pressures. On the other hand, a few others will be super happy to rejoin their colleagues in person. Every situation will be different.”

As employers and employees prepare for a return to more normal operating circumstances, HR professionals must consider the mental health of returning employees. Experts suggest that managing expectations will play a key part in keeping workers calm and focused, especially since new information emerges on a daily basis, causing rapid shifts. They also warn employers that being sensitive to workers’ needs will be of paramount importance, since many continue to juggle new home, family and health realities. 

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