The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for May 18

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 18: 

Highlights:

  • Fed Chairman Powell says economic depression unlikely
  • Over one-third of workers happier with job since COVID-19 pandemic
  • SBOs still optimistic about the future

Fed says economic depression unlikely

“I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be positive growth in the third quarter. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that there’ll be growth in the second half of the year.” 

Despite the dizzying unemployment rate and the shrinking GDP, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell believes that the U.S. will not experience an economic collapse of the magnitude of the Great Depression over the longer term. 

Chairman Powell believes that the GDP might shrink by as much as 30% in the second quarter but that the nature of economic downturn and the “dynamism of the U.S. and the strength of its financial system should pave the way for a significant rebound.”

In fact, he believes the U.S. economy will see positive growth in the third quarter and that even though a recovery might not happen until a vaccine is found, the U.S. economy will return to its pre-pandemic strength. 

38% of workers happier with job since COVID-19

“After holding steady at a score of 71 all last year, the Workplace Happiness Index now measures a 73 out of 100, with slight increases in positive sentiment on all component measures, which include compensation, opportunities for advancement, feeling valued by colleagues ,and meaningfulness of the work.”

According to a new survey, of the workers fortunate to still have a job, 38% of them are happier now with their employment situation than they were before the public health crisis. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, 11% of workers continue to report that they now wish they had a different job more than they did before the pandemic transformed the U.S. workforce. 

Regardless of how happy they are with their job, workers across the board report that it’s harder now to be efficient, with 1 in 5 employees reporting it’s “much harder” to get work done while over 30% report that it’s somewhat more difficult. 

SBOs optimistic about future

“They’re finding new ways to reach their customers online, they’re making adjustments to how and when they do business, and they’re working hard to meet their family obligations at the same time.” 

Facebook and Small Business Roundtable released a report on the state of small businesses in the midst of the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 restrictions of society and commerce. 

As of April of this year, nearly a third of small businesses have had to shut down entirely, while and over half don’t expect that they’ll be able to rehire their same employees when they do reopen.  

Even so, 57% of SBOs surveyed report that they are optimistic about the future. As the report concludes: “And yet, despite all the challenges present, the crisis has not eliminated a sense of optimism. That optimism, coupled with evidence of businesses acting quickly and creatively to find new ways to reach and serve customers, shows the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.”

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