Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Today, we’ll look at a new rule that will help governors apply for HUBZone status for rural locations, the trend towards merging “clicks with bricks,” and the flipside of proposed legislation to protect contract workers. Here we go!
New rule allows governors to apply for ‘HUBZone’ status in support of rural employment
The Small Business Administration issued a final rule today, outlining the process by which governors can apply for HUBZone status for rural communities in their states. The rule is expected to give governors the ability to apply for HUBZone status for areas that did not qualify before, ultimately expanding the program’s reach into more economically-disadvantaged communities.
The Number: 120%. HUBZone status can be conferred upon qualifying “covered areas” that have fewer than 50,000 residents and an unemployment rate that is 120% of the national average.
The Quote: “This expansion of HUBZone areas will provide a valuable resource to small businesses in underserved communities to foster economic development and job creation – creating a pathway to the middle class for the residents of distressed areas.”
Savvy SBOs marry ‘experiential shopping’ with online availability
As the holiday shopping season gets ready to rev into overdrive on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, many small businesses will continue to do what they’ve always done: focus on providing a high-quality and personal shopping experience to customers. Savvy small business owners understand, however, that merging personalized shopping experiences in the store with the convenience of online shopping is the best strategy for capitalizing on Small Business Saturday promotions.
The Number: 41%. Turns out that consumers like to #ShopSmall without leaving the house. Last year, 41% of people who made purchases on Small Business Saturday did so from small businesses with online stores.
The Quote: Small businesses are the original experiential shopping experience. There are no new marketing techniques at play – just an authentic, local and personal shopping experience.
Opinion: Worker protection laws will destroy my livelihood
Proposed legislation in California, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey might seek to protect the interest of contract workers, but not all contract workers necessarily want their interests protected – at least not by the current bills in their current forms. While the laws were crafted in response to the perceived abuse of gig workers by Uber and Lyft, independent contractors in other fields resent the one-size-fits-all approach to addressing the problem.
The Number: A5936. In New Jersey, Assembly Bill A5936 seeks to protect contractors by ending worker misclassification. It will severely curtail the ability of some types of independent contractors to continue earning at their current levels.
The Quote: “While I believe A5936 has good intentions, and that there is abuse in independent contractor system, I believe this bill is being rushed through without full consideration of how it would affect people like myself, who earn an excellent living and have a better quality of life because I decided to take a risk and strike out on my own.”