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‘Absolute chaos’ as businesses try to tap into rescue funds

Virus Outbreak

Desperate small business owners who hoped for a quick government lifeline to help them survive the coronavirus crisis are still without funds, instead battling red tape, wary banks and swamped computer systems. Thousands of owners who applied for loans under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program are in their second week of waiting for their money. And thousands who sought relief ...

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Computer issues at SBA said to hold up small business loans

Virus Outbreak Small Business Relief

Small business owners hoping for quick help from the government’s emergency $349 billion lending program were still waiting Tuesday amid reports of computer problems at the Small Business Administration. The SBA’s loan processing system stopped working Monday, making it impossible for loans to be approved and funds distributed, according to a trade group for community bankers and the CEO of ...

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Urgent question from small businesses: When will aid arrive?

Paul Yu, who has been in business over 20 years, waits for his last customer to pick up their shoes before closing his shoe repair shop Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Tomball, Texas. Yu, who has had temporarily close his business due to a Stay Home - Work Safe Order, is worried about the loss of income during the closure. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

When will the money arrive? That’s the urgent question for small business owners who have been devastated by the coronavirus outbreak. They’re awaiting help from the $2 trillion rescue package signed into law Friday. But with bills fast coming due, no end to business closings and an economy that’s all but shut down, owners are worried about survival. Millions of ...

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Vital but vulnerable, cleaners hold the line against a virus

Virus Outbreak Cleaning Workers

When hospitals need to prep a room for the next coronavirus test, when jetliners discharge their passengers at the gate, when suburbanites start to take sanitary precautions more seriously, the call goes out: Send in the cleaners. These largely unsung workers are often the first line of defense against the global COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting homes, offices, medical facilities ...

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Coronavirus forces small businesses to rethink strategies

Renee Brown, Coffee, coronavirus

Renee and Michael Brown planned to open a third location for their coffee company — and put their plans on hold when the coronavirus hit. Sales at the Browns’ San Francisco coffee shop, Weaver’s Coffee & Tea, are down about 4%; while that’s not drastic, the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. is still in its early stages and the Browns ...

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Small businesses at risk for cyberattack but few take precautions

Cybersecurity, cyber attack

Although businesses are increasingly at risk for cyberattacks on their mobile devices, many aren’t taking steps to protect smartphones and tablets. That’s one of the conclusions of a report on mobile security released last week by Verizon, which found that nearly 40% of companies had their mobile security compromised, up from 33% in 2019. But many companies don’t prioritize mobile ...

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Small businesses embrace wellness to help retain staffers

Wellness, health insurance

Every month, the 30 staffers at Chris Boehlke’s public relations firm each get $100 to pay for anything that contributes to their wellness. And not just for typical expenditures like gym memberships or yoga classes. “You can get nails done, anything you feel is helping your overall well being,” says Boehlke, co-owner of San Francisco-based Bospar. The company also has ...

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U.S. small businesses are getting upbeat news on the economy

shoe repair, small business

Small business owners have received some upbeat news on the economy this month. Retail sales figures released Friday showed that consumers were inspired by unseasonably warm weather to spend on their homes in January, but that overall sales growth was modest. The Commerce Department reported a 0.3% gain last month following a 0.2% gain in December. Although economists called the ...

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