New Jersey has successfully “flattened the curve” in the growth of coronavirus cases, but the prospect of a second wave can’t be ignored, and cautious consumers may not return to dining out or shopping locally anytime soon.
Small employers are at the cross-currents of pandemic-driven forces. Many small businesses rely on face-to-face interactions, and few have deep pockets to weather shutdowns and stalled demand. The revenue freefall that businesses have experienced over the last five months makes sustaining payments for health insurance coverage challenging if not impossible. Yet, at a time when we are all vulnerable to a dangerous virus with no vaccine and limited treatment options, the idea of going without health coverage can be terrifying.
To address growing challenges in small group health insurance, the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy convened a virtual expert panel on July 16. Drawing on perspectives
(Bloomberg) — The coronavirus pandemic may be a drag on economies across the globe, but in Japan it’s bringing long-overdue change in work habits and tools.
About 90% of Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co.’s non-manufacturing employees have worked from home. Department-store chain Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. is using video chats to offer shopping suggestions online, while smaller enterprises are emracing digital tools. Digital signatures are finally taking hold, replacing official stamps and seals.
Despite being at the forefront of technologies ranging from imaging chips to electric-vehicle batteries, Japan ranked 23rd out of 63 nations in digital competitiveness last year, according to the International Institute for Management Development. While a chronic labor shortage caused by a declining population was already spurring businesses to automate, the Covid-19 outbreak is pushing the transition to the digital workplace into higher gear.
“Many companies small and large have talked about digitization as being important, but
The number of businesses going under in South Florida is growing at an alarming rate, cutting the chances for laid-off workers to find other jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Yelp, the national online business listing firm, nearly 3,000 businesses closed in the tri-county area between March 15 and July 1.
Owners are losing their investments. Employees are losing jobs. And lower income workers — among the most vulnerable to layoffs because they work in hard-hit service industries — are under severe financial pressure as they struggle to find new employment, according to ParentsTogether, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group for parents across the country.
In a survey conducted among its Florida members from July 16 to July 19, ParentsTogether found that “a vast majority of families,” including 73% in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, consider themselves to be struggling economically as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis,
3 New York City businesses on what it’s been like reopening in the first U.S. epicenter of the pandemic
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New York City quickly became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States this past spring. As the novel coronavirus has spread rapidly elsewhere nationwide, New York has been able to bring cases down and began to reopen businesses this summer, making it a possible blueprint for other American cities once they have the virus under control.
Anyone who has ventured out to a store or small business that is not a grocery store or a pharmacy (which are also quite different than they used to be but remained open during the shutdown) knows that retail experiences and services are not like what they once were. There are a lot of new rules put in place to keep customers and employees safe, which might look very different
Small business owners are contending with some of the most trying economic conditions in recent memory. Suppliers are seeing their orders limited by a hobbled supply chain, shops and retailers are facing lower sales from a financially insecure client base and restaurants and bars are being forced to weigh the needs of their staff against the lower capacity imposed by socially-distanced dining areas.
But the most trying aspect of running a small business in the time of a pandemic is the reality that these conditions may continue for months on end. The U.S. and many other countries are already seeing a resurgence of infections and hospitalizations after just a few weeks of reopening measures.
Small Business Strife
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to many business owners’ innate hopes for future growth. A recent article from William Dunkelberg, the Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, describes
HOWARD COUNTY, MD — More than 200 Howard County businesses have received grants in the first round of funding issued by the HoCo RISE Business Relief Grant Program. Howard County officials allocated $5.7 million in CARES Act funding toward the grant program to provide financial assistance to businesses in targeted sectors that have been most impacted by the coronavirus and plan to reopen. New grants supporting local childcare businesses and the hotel industry have been established, too.
“All of us are trying to get by and move forward. I applaud those making sacrifices in the hope that we will make an impact and save lives, including Howard County small businesses. The first 203 recipients of these grants provide jobs, value and support to our community, and we want to ensure that they too are able to survive,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “These grants address immediate needs and ensure
CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ — Small businesses in Camden County will share in $20 million worth of federal grants amid the coronavirus pandemic, local officials announced Wednesday afternoon.
The county has received federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist struggling businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. The funding is for both profit and nonprofit organizations, and priority will be given to businesses that have not received state or federal funding already.
“We know the business community, especially the foundation of our economy, small businesses, have been hurting and are in need of dire relief,” Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said. “We need to ensure that every proprietor and principal of a small business has access to these grant funds in order to help maintain and stabilize their operations. Moving forward the grants have the potential to provide a business owner with up to
Hour after hour in the dark, Chander Shekhar’s mind raced ahead to morning.
More than three months had dragged by since the coronavirus forced him to shut down his business — a shop racked with vibrantly colored saris, on a block in New York’s Jackson Heights neighborhood once thronged with South Asian immigrant shoppers. Today, finally, merchants were allowed to reopen their doors.
But they were returning to an area where COVID-19 had killed hundreds, leaving sidewalks desolate and storefronts to gather dust. Overnight, the uncertainties of reopening had woken Shekhar nine times.
“This is an invisible enemy that nobody can see,” said Shekhar, who is anxious about the $6,000 monthly rent at his store, Shopno Fashion. “I have worked hard for this for more than 20 years, then I got my shop. It’s not easy to leave it.”
The pandemic’s toll leaves Shekhar reluctant to complain, and he knows
The resurgence of COVID-19 across the country this summer has deepened anxiety for millions of American small business owners who face another imminent cash crunch in their battle to survive a historic pandemic.
The government’s $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, first rolled out in April, was supposed to help many businesses and their employees weather the storm. Nearly half of all American workers are employed by a small business.
But now many of the nearly 5 million US companies that got loans say the relief money is running out with little sign the virus is loosening its grip on the economy.
“We’re literally the guy who was jogging and got hit by the meteor like the one in a
Small Business Support
There’s no doubt we’re all aware of the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy in general, and on small businesses in our own communities even more so. Many small-business owners are struggling to keep their companies afloat. There are, however, ways that each of us can help. From easy actions that don’t cost a thing to suggestions that might require you to open your wallet just a bit wider than usual, here are some ways that could help keep your local corner store or favorite nearby boutique open for business.
Related: Cash-Based Businesses That Must Change to Survive in the COVID-19 Era
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Buy a Dining Bond
The Dining Bond Initiative calls itself “a continuous lifeline for restaurants that are facing challenging times.” It works like this: You click here,