The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for October 16

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 October 16: 

  • Employers and employees disagree on subsidies for WFH expenses
  • September sees stronger-than-expected retail sales
  • The presidential candidates on workplace issues

WFH expenses — who’s responsible?

“Employees called out companies on LinkedIn for failing to cover the phone bill, high speed internet, office supplies, furniture, and utility expenses they’re incurring while working from home, pointing out that those costs were shouldered by their employers prior to the pandemic.”

If the bathroom is out of toilet paper and the refrigerator smells, work-from-home employees have no one to blame but themselves. But when it comes to actually paying for toilet paper or coffee, employers and employees are debating who is responsible for covering the costs associated with working from home.

A recent survey found that 60% of workers believe that their employer should cover costs related to working from home, but only 1 in 10 employers actually offer any subsidies.

Stronger-than-expected retail sales

“Although sales growth is strong, it will slow through the rest of this year and into next year. The slowing will be even larger if Congress does not pass another stimulus bill. Unemployment remains pervasive throughout the U.S. economy.”

Retail sales jumped by 1.9% last month, over twice the amount forecasted by economists, as consumers bought cars and new clothing, dined out, and invested in hobbies. Overall, consumer spending has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels as more people look for products to make life at home more enjoyable.

Economists believe that consumer spending was driven largely by the economic stimulus programs enacted by the federal government and warn that the lack of additional payments will dim economic prospects as hiring slows and the country experiences a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

Candidates’ positions on workplace issues

“It’s wrong, and it stops when Joe Biden is elected president.”

If, perchance, you are still undecided about the upcoming presidential election and were planning to tune into the debates to get your questions answered about the candidates’ positions on workplace issues, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

HR Dive is providing an ongoing side-by-side comparison of where President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden stand on issues such as the federal minimum wage, paid leave, diversity training, healthcare, and more.


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