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 October 15:
- Jobless claims hit highest number since mid August
- SBA announces plans to forgive 70% of PPP loans
- NRF to offer training to help retail workers ease tensions over masks
Jobless claims update
“Further recovery looks to have stalled out. Holiday hiring is sluggish, and many businesses need to make significant changes to ride out the colder months.”
The Department of Labor released its jobless report today, indicating that 898,000 Americans filed for first time unemployment benefits last week — the highest number since the middle of August.
The data shows that the economy still has not replaced 10.7 million of the 22 million jobs it lost earlier this spring when the pandemic caused business to grind to a halt.
The level of continuing claims fell again, however, by 1.165 million.
New PPP loan forgiveness rule
“The new guidance that has come out from treasury department and the SBA aim to ease the process for applying for forgiveness of loans under $50,000.”
The Small Business Administration released a new rule that would allow businesses that obtained a Paycheck Protection Program loan for $50,000 or less and are sole proprietorships to make a streamlined application for loan forgiveness.
Initially, the program was set up so that loans would only be forgiven if the majority of the money was spent on employee payroll. The new rule allows sole proprietorships to seek loan forgiveness, too, using the 1-page application from the SBA.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo announced that more than 100 employees have been fired for attempting to defraud the United States government by making “ false representations in applying for relief funds through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.”
Retail worker training on masks
“When someone is defensive and losing their rationality, you give them a choice or set a limit.”
The National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade group in the U.S., has teamed up with the Crisis Prevention Institute to offer training to retail workers on how to de-escalate situations with customers who refuse to wear a mask.
The training is intended to prevent workplace violence and give retail employees the tools to deal with the challenges brought about by pandemic restrictions, such as wearing masks in public and social distancing, as interactions with belligerent customers have made waves on social media and even turned violent.