Cleveland and Kiva team up, SBO optimism is down, and EEOC scraps pay data rule

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Since we’re “The glass is half full” kind of people, we’ll start the SBRD reboot off with good news about Cleveland’s efforts to help small businesses find funding before looking at the growing uncertainty about the economy among U.S. SBOs. Plus: EEOC changes data collection rule — again. Welcome back!

Cleveland continues commitment to small businesses with new funding portal

Things are looking promising in Cleveland and no, we aren’t talking about Baker Mayfield or OBJ! Earlier this summer we looked at a new pilot program to install local businesses at the Cleveland airport and now the city has announced a new program in partnership with Kiva to connect small businesses with funding sources. Cleveland really does rock.

The Number: 0%. The Kiva Cleveland portal will offer loans as small as $25 at a 0% interest rate to SBOs and entrepreneurs.

The Quote: Small businesses are important to Cleveland’s economy. By providing small business owners with accessible capital, Kiva will serve as a valuable resource to local entrepreneurs.”

Doom and gloom forecast taking toll on the psyche of small biz community

The sky is falling … or at least small business optimism is falling, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index dropped 1.6 points in August, despite “no indication of a coming recession,” suggesting that all the negative talk about the economy is having a psychological — if not financial — impact.

The Number: 4. The Uncertainty Index rose 4 points in August, which indicates that SBOs are hesitant to make major moves. 

The Quote: “In spite of the success we continue to see on Main Street, the manic predictions of recession are having a psychological effect and creating uncertainty for small business owners throughout the country.”

EEOC pay data collection rule cancelled (for now)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it is suspending the Component 2 pay data collection requirement. The Obama Administration-era rule was seen as a positive step toward achieving equal pay for women and minorities. Lawmakers will have the chance to question EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon when she testifies before the House Committee on Education and Labor and the EEOC has not ruled out collecting the data again in the future. The saga continues …

The Number: 100. Employers with 100 or more employees are still required to submit the data for the 2017 and 2018 calendar years. 

The Quote: This data is not meant to provide definitive proof that pay discrimination is happening; it’s meant to be a system that provides some red flags.”

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