The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for September 21

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

Ruth-Bader-Ginsberg-RBG

Small Business News Highlights for September 21: 

  • Women in retail struggle to support needs of children in distance learning
  • The potential impact of the death of RBG on the economic recovery
  • Negotiating a pay raise during the pandemic

Women in retail struggle to support children in distance learning

“The caregiving responsibilities outside of work are falling heavier on women than on men, and the retail sector in particular is one where you generally don’t have a lot of control over your schedule, which can lead to a real crunch.” 

Working mothers with children attending virtual school are finding it hard to fulfill their job duties and support their children’s educational needs — particularly women working in retail, who have no control over their schedule.

The result? A huge number of women have had to reduce their hours significantly or ask their employer for accommodations to their schedule to allow them to be at home during school hours. While women made up just under half of the retail workforce, they account for 65% of the job losses from February to June of this year.

Potential impact of the death of RBG on the economic recovery

“The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg adds another element of risk to the timing of the [stimulus talks] outcome, and could weigh on the market overall in the near term.”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last Friday, setting off a political firestorm that some analysts believe could have serious implications for the country’s economic recovery and the government’s willingness to pass further stimulus measures.

Some analysts believe that the White House and Senate will become so embattled over whether or not to replace the justice before the November 3rd election that it will be impossible for them to consider any economic legislation. With additional aid potentially delayed until after the new year, the likelihood of more small businesses closing skyrockets.

Negotiating a pay raise during COVID-19

“Companies struggle to find the talent they need to support new business priorities sparked by the pandemic. Professionals with in-demand skills know they still have options, and employers realize they need to offer competitive salaries to attract and secure top candidates.”

Despite the high unemployment rate and continued layoffs, recent data suggests that businesses are beginning to hire again and that they are paying the same amount, if not more, than they were before the pandemic.

Though many workers are thankful to simply be employed, HR experts note that it’s not unreasonable to begin discussing a raise despite the ongoing public health crisis. Employers recognize that employees have been stretched to the limit during the pandemic and look for ways to compensate workers, even if it’s not actually more cash in their pocket. Additionally, research shows that 44% of senior managers report that starting salaries for new hires have remained the same since the COVID-19 began pandemic began, and 28% even noted an increase in base compensation.

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