The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for September 25

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

halloween-pumpkin

Small Business News Highlights for September 25: 

  • Parents fear using childcare benefits will result in firing, survey finds
  • Retailers haunted by Halloween prospects 
  • What does seasonal work mean for unemployment benefits?

Parents fear using childcare benefits will result in firing

“Companies can go a long way to setting the right tone around that so that people do take advantage of this.”

Ongoing lay-offs and the persistently high unemployment rate have many parents concerned that using employer-sponsored childcare benefits will ultimately lead to getting fired. 

The report found that 42% of parents believe that using additional PTO or flexible work hour arrangements geared toward relieving the burden of childcare will actually put their employment at risk — and 39% believe that it could even result in termination. 

HR experts say that it’s normal for people to be less risk averse in uncertain times, and they stress that companies should clearly communicate the benefits and the expectations in order to allay employee fears. 

Retailers haunted by Halloween prospects

“This year, Halloween was going to be on a Saturday for the first time in 7 years. It was also going to be a full moon, and daylight savings time was ending. Sales would have doubled. Unfortunately, the purchases we made in January reflected that.”

The CDC released guidelines for celebrating fall holidays earlier this week and retailers are already noting the impact on Halloween-related sales. A survey by the National Retail Federation found that 58% percent of Americans are planning on celebrating the spooky holiday this year, down from 68% last year. Spending on the holiday is also expected to drop by almost a billion dollars. 

Even so, online costume retailers report a bump in sales as more people turn to the internet to source their costume. And as of early September, candy sales were up 13% over the same time period last year. 

What does seasonal work mean for unemployment benefits

“It’s really in a person’s interest to look for, and take work, if possible.”

Retailers have started their seasonal hiring spree, causing many people to wonder how these temporary gigs impact unemployment benefits. Holiday spending is expected to grow between 1% and 1.5%, year over year, and many companies are hiring even more workers than last year. 

According to employment experts, taking a temporary position through the holidays is in a person’s best interest. If they have not already exhausted their state-level benefit, they will still be eligible to receive payments once their job has ended. Furthermore, if a person applies for and is offered a position and turns it down, the employer is obligated to notify the State Labor Board, which can jeopardize benefits down the road. 

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