Small businesses are running out of time, but COVID-19 help comes with huge roadblocks – TechCrunch

Just a little bit a few weeks ago a small Seattle-based company SnapBar – which offers personalized photo booth rentals and selfie stations for events nationwide – was booming, gearing up for a full range of spring and summer events. But amid business closures and shelter-in-place orders brought on by COVID-19, owner and father of three Sam Eitzen and his team of 18 have had to get creative – quickly – to maintain the business on the move. After Sam and his management team slashed their own salaries by 50% and brainstormed most of the night, they pivoted SnapBar’s entire business strategy to shipping and selling gift boxes containing items made by many. small local businesses.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) was passed on March 27 to help business owners like Sam through $ 350 billion in federal loans and grants. But major structural flaws and implementation issues prevent these loans from reaching business owners quickly, if at all, and providing the level of help they need.

Small businesses and their employees have already run out of time. Data from my company Gusto, which provides payroll, benefits, compliance and HR software to 100,000 small businesses, shows that layoffs increased by more than 1,000% from February 2020 to March 2020. There were also a 9% gap in the overall wages paid to small business employees in March.

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