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 20:
- Deadline looming for stimulus negotiations, Senate to vote on PPP
- Stores do away with Black Friday “Doorbuster” sales in light of COVID precautions
- Shifting benefits trends in post-pandemic small businesses
Stimulus negotiations continue, Senate will vote on PPP
“We all want to get an agreement because people need it. It’s urgent, and our economy needs it. Hopefully by the end of the day today, we’ll know where we all are.”
The Senate will reportedly vote on reauthorizing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) today, as House leadership and Administration officials continue to negotiate a broader stimulus bill. Small business leaders say that the PPP won’t address their biggest concern, which is getting customers through the door.
Though Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Terner Mnuchin have partially bridged the chasm between their 2 bills, the 2 parties are still separated by nearly half a trillion dollars and difference in legislative priorities. President Donald Trump has indicated that he would support spending more, even though many members of his party disagree.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he will bring any package to the Senate for a vote, though he only promised to do so “at some point.”
For her part, Speaker Pelosi has softened her language about today’s deadline: “It isn’t that this day was a day that we would have a deal, it was a day that we would have our terms on the table to be able to go to the next step.”
Tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow.
Retailers eliminating Doorbuster Black Friday sales
“No retailer can run the risk of overcrowding, and so all will be looking to balance the need to drive sales with the need to keep people safe.”
Big Box retailers are doing their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by eliminating in-person Doorbuster sales on Black Friday.
Walmart announced that it will offer shoppers three opportunities to access holiday deals. The company then announced that it would keep stores closed on Thanksgiving Day — a move that was quickly followed by Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy.
Other stores are stretching out the timeframe for holiday deal shopping or moving their deals to online shopping.
Shifting small business benefits trends
“Despite spikes in unemployment rates, sourcing and retaining strong talent remains an issue for many business owners.”
HR specialists are noting shifting trends in the world of small business benefits as the COVID-19 pandemic reprioritizes employee benefits.
For example, 1 in 4 employers now think that offering short-term disability and life insurance benefits is a necessity, while 40% now view critical illness and hospital indemnity insurance as more important than before the pandemic.