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Continued Negotiations Offer Narrow Possibility of COVID-19 Relief Deal

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are continuing negotiations on passing new COVID-19 relief bill
  • Hopes for bipartisan deal before November’s election dimmed after a proposal advanced by Senate Republicans failed to advance
  • Mnuchin advises that concerns about the deficit or Federal Reserve balance sheet should not inhibit relief
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Fed Announces Plan to Preserve Low Interest Rates Even When Inflation Picks Up

  • On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced a new approach to inflation, allowing inflation to run above the 2 percent target before increasing interest rates
  • The move signals that interest rates on home and business loans will likely remain extremely low for several years
  • Fed also shifts stance on employment in response to higher jobless levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic
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Survey: Health Insurance Costs Remain the Top Problem For Small Businesses

  • NFIB four-year survey says health insurance costs continue to be the biggest problem small businesses face
  • Health costs have been the top pain point since 1986, and fewer small businesses are offering these benefits
  • Survey identifies finding qualified employees and a variety of taxes as other issues affecting small businesses
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In an Era of Remote Work, Virtual Job Fairs Connect Employers to Job Seekers

  • Virtual job fairs were becoming more popular before the COVID-19, and are now a crucial resource for employers
  • Events are more specialized, with pre-screened candidates receiving time with recruiters
  • Companies should decide what type of event they’d like to hold and make sure to promote it
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Small Businesses More Likely to Expect Longer Recovery in Census Survey

  • Second phase of U.S. Census Bureau survey on COVID-19 impact on small businesses finds respondents more likely to expect a longer road back to normalcy
  • Majority of respondents report negative impact on business, but some positive signs such as healthy cash on hand and minimal missed loan payments
  • Businesses see marketing/sales and additional capital as key future needs
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Hotels Mull Pivot to Remote Work Getaways During Pandemic

  • The hospitality industry been struggling with a loss of income due to a slump in travel and event cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Some hotels have been buttressing their revenues with short-term room rentals for people to enjoy a new remote work location
  • Long-term stay packages also being offered
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Connecticut Faces Dilemma on Controlling COVID-19 and Preserving Economy

  • Enforcement of Connecticut’s rigorous COVID-19 rules has helped maintain consistently low infection rates, but this also has the potential to harm the state’s economy
  • Hotels and lodging have not been asked to screen guests, though several have done so voluntarily
  • Health commitment has been used in tourism marketing, but pitches are limited to neighboring states
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Small Businesses Feel Crunch Under Slowdown of USPS Mail Service

  • Small businesses rely heavily on the U.S. Postal Service for shipments
  • Delays occasioned by the pandemic and recent operational changes under the Postmaster General result in extra fees, forced refunds, and harm to reputation
  • E-commerce groups push back against proposed hikes to shipping prices
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PPP Loans Can Add Complexities When Selling a Business

  • The Paycheck Protection Program and other COVID-19 relief measures may impact the purchase price when selling a business
  • Changing PPP rules, along with the upcoming presidential election and uncertainty over future relief measures, add complications
  • Pandemic also presents challenges to buyers and sellers seeking to do their due diligence
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Employer Contributions to Retirement Plans Remain Steady During Pandemic

  • Nearly nine out of 10 employees with a 401(k) retirement savings plan received an employer match in the past year
  • Just 11 percent of employers suspended their 401(k) match due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and about half of them intend to restore the match as soon as economic conditions allow it
  • Employee contributions to retirement plans have been largely unaffected by the pandemic
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