SMB News Weekly Rundown

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

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Small Business News Highlights:

New small businesses booming after pandemic

“The surge in applications for likely employer businesses is arguably not because of, but despite, the PPP program.”

The pandemic might not have been so bad for small businesses afterall. According to the data, the number of new small businesses hit a record high in 2020.

The bulk of new businesses were “nonstore retailers,” making up a third of the new businesses started during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, businesses with physical locations have seen an increase, too, particularly in states where rents are low.

Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.

End of unemployment likely doesn’t spur people to work, data shows

“People in those states are less likely to be searching than your average jobseeker right now.”

Twenty-five states have now ended federal unemployment subsidies early, but research shows that the effort may have backfired as people in those places are actually searching less for new jobs than people in other areas.

According to some estimates, job searches in many of the states that ended the expanded jobless benefits are anywhere between 1% and 4% lower than in other states that continue to pay the COVID-19 unemployment supplement.

making-your-office-safe-after-coronavirus

Return to workplace still lagging in major cities around the world

“Offices are becoming an intentional destination just like shopping malls, where people don’t go back all the time to get individual tasks done.”

If you’re having trouble getting workers to come back to the office, you’re not alone. Employers in many of the financial centers around the world report that workplace activity is still at less than 50% of its normal level.

While many countries and cities have eased restrictions, employers are finding that the pandemic permanently changed worker behaviors, making it difficult to return to “normal” pre-pandemic expectations in the workplace. As a result, many larger companies have allowed employees to continue working from home, placing pressure on smaller companies to do the same.

should-remote-workers-earn-less

Google to show employees change in pay based on location

“To better equip people with the information they need to explore their options, we’ve built a tool that will allow all employees to request to move to a new location, or go remote.”

Google might be allowing employees to continue working from home. The tech giant isn’t guaranteeing that a move will result in the same amount of pay, however.

As the company moves to a hybrid work model, it’s unveiled a new program that will allow employees to request to work from a new location or go completely remote and then show them how moving will impact several key things, such as pay and bonus targets.

employees writing on whiteboard face masks

Vaccinated workers should continue wearing masks in certain situations

 “If you or a loved one living in your home has a serious underlying health condition and it’s possible and preferred for you to work remotely, then that might be a suitable decision for you and your employer to make.”

Many employers have dropped mask requirements for fully vaccinated workers. Yet that doesn’t mean that employers shouldn’t allow or even encourage vaccinated employees to wear one in certain situations.

For employees with small children who can not yet receive the vaccine, wearing a mask to protect their children should be allowed in the workplace. Similarly, workers with immunocompromised loved ones in the home should also continuing wearing personal protection if working in a public-facing role.

The Latest from Workest

Returning to the office after months away can be daunting. Catherine Tansey shares some Advice From Small Businesses that Have Returned to Workplaces.

Speaking of returning to the office, what’s your policy on pets coming to play during the work day? If you don’t have one yet, check out this advice on creating a pet policy by Stacy Pollack.

Finally, before we say goodbye for the week, here are 3 things you should know:

  1. For job seekers over 40, ageism is a real issue, with “significantly more” women than men reporting that they experience ageism in their professional lives.
  2. While thousands of businesses closed during the pandemic, approximately 5.2 million people became new millionaires.
  3. Amazon Prime Day reportedly helped generate $1.9 billion in sales for small businesses this month.
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