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 2:
- Pressure mounts on SBA to forgive PPP loans, ensure fraud protections
- The last employment report before election shows slowed jobs growth
- Immigration policies cause ongoing frustration for employers
Pressure mounts on SBA to forgive PPP loans
“I’m just astounded that these terrible acts took place when legitimate, deserving businesses could use the help.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration is coming under increasing pressure to begin forgiving the billions of dollars worth of loans it processed in an attempt to help small businesses cope with the impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis. So far, the agency has not approved a single application for loan forgiveness. The SBA opened the application process on August 10th and has 90 days to consider each application.
Critics also note that the agency has done little to prevent massive fraud, as watchdog agencies testified before Congress that the Inspector General’s office has received tens of thousands of fraud tips, while the Justice Department has already charged 57 people with trying to steal over $170 million.
The last employment report before the election shows slowed jobs growth
“Partisanship being a helluva drug, there are ample opportunities for both sides to spin this most recent jobs report in whatever direction benefits them most, potentially rendering any historical comparisons irrelevant.”
The final jobs report before the upcoming presidential election was released this week, showing that President Trump has the worst job losses on record heading into an election.
The economy added 661,000 jobs in September, and the overall unemployment rate fell to 7.9%. The unemployment landscape, combined with President Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, rattled the markets.
The analysts at FiveThirtyEight make an interesting case about why the jobs report functions as a political Rorschach Test.
Immigration policies cause ongoing frustration for employers
“It incentivizes them to go and build their infrastructure someplace else where they don’t have to worry about losing key people.“
Employers who have open positions to fill are frustrated by their inability to hire non-U.S. workers, however. At the beginning of the pandemic, the White House placed a moratorium on new H-1B visas for the rest of 2020, causing widespread concern in the tech industry. The Trump Administration also proposed two additional regulations that narrow the scope of jobs that are eligible for skilled-worker visas and require employers to increase wages so that foreign workers can not undercut US workers.
In September, the White House also announced that federal funding would be made available to retrain American workers for “middle- to high-skilled H-1B occupations.”