Calculators and Tools

NFIB Weekly News

NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

NFIB: Covid-19 Pandemic Seriously Affecting Small Businesses (03/24/2020)

Bloomberg (3/23, Jeff Kearns) reported, “More than three-quarters of small businesses in the U.S. have been hurt by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey conducted Friday.” An NFIB statement was quoted saying, “Owners are taking the threat to their business seriously. ... Many owners have already sought out financial help and more are planning to do so in the near future. The outbreak will leave few, if any, owners unscathed. We know the economic impact will be immense.”

Bloomberg Law (3/20, Subscription Publication) reported that “in a virtual town hall hosted by the DOL Wage and Hour Division Friday,” business groups, attorneys, and others “flooded the Labor Department with questions on how the agency plans to implement new coronavirus-related paid family and sick leave requirements.” Bloomberg Law said, “Many participants, including [NFIB] advocates...want the agency to define how a business with under 50 workers will be able to demonstrate that offering leave would jeopardize their business viability.” NFIB legal center executive director Karen Harned was quoted saying, “We’re asking that the department seriously consider all that it can do to make the exemption for those employers with fewer than 50 employees as broad as possible. ... Anything you all can do to make the exemption process as streamlined, easy-to-understand, and as simple as possible would be greatly appreciated.”

Business Climate

Trump, Mnuchin Say 20% Unemployment Rate Is Extremely Unlikely (03/24/2020)

The Washington Post (3/18, A1, Werner, Stein) reported that on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin “told Republican senators...that the unemployment rate could skyrocket to 20 percent, a level President Trump said Wednesday would be ‘an absolute worst-case scenario.’” Reuters (3/18) reported that on Wednesday, Mnuchin “clarified” that the unemployment rate “would not spike to 20% if Congress follows...Trump’s coronavirus rescue plan.” Mnuchin is quoted as saying, “I didn’t in any way say, ‘I think we’re going to have that.’ If we follow the President’s plan we will not have it.”

The Hill (3/18, Elis) reported Mnuchin added, “What I said was just a mathematical statement, which is 40 percent of people employed in the private workforce are employed by companies of 500 people or less. It was just a mathematical statement to say that if half of these people were to lose their jobs, this is what it would be. ... But we’re not going to let that happen.”

Small Business Marketing

SBA To Offer Low-interest Disaster Loans For Businesses Affected By Coronavirus (03/24/2020)

The AP (3/18, News) reported, “Across the country, in industries of every kind and size, the coronavirus outbreak has devastated small businesses. If they haven’t been ordered to close by government officials, many are shutting down out of concern for employees, customers and clients or simply because business has vanished. Those that are still managing to operate are struggling mightily.” The article noted small businesses “are a vitally important economic sector of the economy, and their hardships constitute a grave threat to the U.S economy and to tens of millions of workers and their families.” In response to the pandemic, the federal government “has taken steps to make Small Business Administration disaster loans easier to obtain. They’re now available statewide in states that are hard-hit by the virus, rather than limited to specific counties or parishes where companies have suffered substantial losses. The SBA also said in a statement that it had reminded lenders that they could defer loan payments for six months.”

Wages and Benefits

Trump Inks Law Giving Sick Leave To Employees; Major Chains Excluded (03/24/2020)

QSR Magazine (3/19) reported that President Trump “signed a $100 billion relief package into law Wednesday night, which includes paid emergency leave for many workers.” The package would give “employees up to 14 days of paid sick leave if they are being tested for COVID-19, being treated for it, or have been diagnosed with it,” and also included “paid leave for those helping family members with the virus and for those whose children are home from school,” among other provisions. But the “expanded sick leave portion does not apply to businesses with 500 or more employees such as McDonald’s or Subway.”