SMB News Weekly Rundown – August 11, 2021

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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uber eats gig worker

Small Business News Highlights:

Massachusetts becomes new battleground for gig worker classification

“This is exploitation and Uber, Lyft and the gig economy’s way of trying to create a sub-class of workers.”

Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have begun the process of trying to classify workers as independent contractors in Massachusetts, making it the latest battleground state after a California court ruled on the issue last year.

A group representing the tech companies has proposed to put a measure on the ballot that would change labor laws and preserve the status of independent workers ahead of potential federal regulation by the Biden Administration.

now-hiring

40% of small businesses experiencing rising labor costs

“That hypergrowth in the hiring rate means that workers have the bargaining power to hold out for better wages before returning to work, or to leave their current jobs for higher-paying opportunities. That’s especially tough for small businesses, who likely don’t have the same resources as their bigger competitors.” 

Small businesses continue to feel the pinch of rising labor costs relative to worker shortages.

Currently, there are one million more job vacancies than the number of unemployed Americans, and employers are finding that they must raise wages in order to be competitive in the tight labor market. In fact, 41% of small business owners say they are experiencing rising labor costs, while only 24% report that they will be adding new employees in the coming year.

infrastructure freeways and bridges

Small businesses weigh in on new infrastructure bill

“It’s going to be important for small businesses to have access to investments in broadband to be able to compete across the country. So we’re not just relying on massive online monopolies.”

The newly passed infrastructure bill will create many new union jobs, but Main Street is also optimistic that the legislation will be good for business, too.

The Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act, which passed with true bipartisan support, will bring wireless broadband access to rural areas and provide much needed funds to fix roads and bridges and support transportation.

working from home with kids

Mass resignation of moms may be coming, as childcare remains difficult in light of Delta

“We were starting to breathe a sigh of relief. Now we’re back to panicking. Given the low vaccination rate in our area, I can’t see how it doesn’t happen again.”

According to estimates, there are 46 million parents with children under the age of 12 in the U.S. and many of them are beginning to panic again as childcare plans fall apart in response to surging numbers COVID-19 Delta variant cases.

With no vaccine for children under 12 available, experts worry that ongoing difficulties finding childcare and the continuing need to quarantine will cause a wave of resignations by mothers who need to stay home to manage care and schooling.

The Latest from Workest

This week for Workest, Cinnamon Janzer tackles flagging spirits and explores How to Boost Employee Morale and Motivation.

While it is legal for employers to ask for proof that employees have gotten the COVID-19 jab, private health information isn’t fair game for talk around the watercooler. Riia O’Donnell answers the question: Who Is Entitled to Know an Employee’s Vaccination Status?

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

  1. August doesn’t necessarily mean vacation for SBOs. According to a recent survey, half of small biz owners feel chained to their business and believe that it would fall apart if they left for even a week.
  2. Small business owner optimism dropped in July, nearly erasing all of June’s gains.
  3. Amazon has created a lottery with wild prizes as incentive for workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
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