The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for September 10

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 September 10: 

  • Layoffs remain steady as jobless claims remain stable over 2 weeks
  • Senate fails to advance coronavirus aid legislation 
  • 57 people charged in PPP fraud schemes worth $175 million

Layoffs remain steady as jobless claims remain stable over 2 weeks

“It is especially concerning that the pace of layoffs has not slowed more materially even though the economy has reopened more fully and more and more businesses have come back online.”

The number of Americans applying for new unemployment benefits this week did not change since last week, indicating the number of workers being laid off is holding steady. Approximately 884,000 new claims for jobless benefits were filed over each of the last 2 weeks. 

While the overall unemployment rate dropped to 8.2% last month, down from over 10% in July, the drop reflects businesses who rehired furloughed employees and the overall number of new jobs dropped from 1.7 in July to 1.4 in August. 

The healthcare industry, however, continues to steadily add back jobs, with 75,000 positions added to doctors’ and dentists’ offices and hospitals last month. 

Senate fails to advance coronavirus aid legislation 

“Doubts have grown about lawmakers’ ability to approve any more stimulus during the heated final weeks before the 2020 election.”

With a vote of 52-47, the Senate failed to pass the newest economic aid legislation. The vote was split almost unanimously down party lines, with Republican Senator Rand Paul voting with the Democrats against the bill. 

Senate Democratic leadership claimed that the bill was completely inadequate to meet the economic realities facing many Americans. As the countdown to election day approaches, many commentators fear that it’s increasingly unlikely that Congress will pass another aid package, though House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi remains confident that they will beat the November 3rd deadline. 

57 people charged in PPP fraud schemes worth $175 million

“We are doing all we can to identify those instances and cooperate with law enforcement where appropriate.” 

Department of Justice officials announced today that 57 people have been charged with fraud related to the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

The charges represent schemes to steal over $175 million from the program, and range from misappropriation of funds by individuals or small businesses to large-scale fraud by criminal rings. The Justice Department noted that they will be focusing on the latter types of cases moving forward. 

Criticized from the beginning, the PPP quickly distributed federal funds to businesses with the intention that the money be spent on payroll costs. JPMorgan Chase disbursed nearly $30 billion worth of the program’s funds, more than any other lender, and recently released information acknowledging wrongdoing by both bank employees and customers.  

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