Getting a $2 Million EIDL Will Be Like Winning the Lottery

The loans won’t be available until October 9, and it’s unlikely there will be sufficient funds to meet demand.

Good morning!

Here are today’s highlights:

  • President Biden announces a vaccine mandate.

  • Who’s going to pay for the tests?

  • Should employers use software to monitor remote employees?

  • Should states require employers to disclose the salaries they pay?

PROFILE

On his birthday 20 years ago, Tom Lo escaped the south tower of the World Trade Center: “Lo made it out of the building that morning, but the awareness of how close he came to perishing that day has remained, inspiring him to pursue his passions despite any uncertainty—first by becoming a physician and eventually through entrepreneurship. In 2019, Lo became a partner in Spy C Cuisine, a decorated Chinese restaurant in Queens, and in February, he founded his own practice, Modern Renaissance Anesthesia, in New York City. Lo made the decision to start his own firm as the carnage of Covid-19 colored his days working in a New York hospital, where he was reminded, once again, that life is too short to ignore one's instincts.”

  • “‘The worst part of that morning was hearing the metal screeching and creaking as the building went back and forth. For a few minutes, I was thinking: 'The building is coming down. This is it. These are the last moments of my life.’”

  • “If I started my own business, I thought, I'd have a bigger impact. So in February, I decided to leave my job with the hospital and establish my own anesthesiology practice.”

  • “I don't have the stability of the hospital, and the learning curve is steep, but I love the freedom and opportunities entrepreneurship brings.” READ MORE

FINANCE

Ami Kassar says $2 million EIDL loans will not be available until October 9: “The SBA is likely trying to help the largest amount of businesses by approving the increases (and backlog) up to $500,000 first, and then they will use the remaining funds for the $2 million increases. Borrowers should remember that getting one of these $2 million loans will be a bit like winning a lottery ticket. There will be far more applicants than available funds, and there will be some luck based on what office you end up being processed through.” READ MORE

POLICY

President Biden plans to mandate vaccinations or weekly Covid tests through employers: “All employers with 100 or more employees would have to require that their workers be vaccinated or undergo at least weekly Covid-19 testing under a new plan announced by President Biden to curb the spread of the pandemic. The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the coming weeks plans to issue an emergency temporary standard implementing the new requirement, which will cover 80 million private-sector workers. Businesses that don’t comply can face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. The employers will also have to give workers paid time off to get vaccinated or to recover from any side effects of getting vaccinated.”

  • “The new mandates will cover about 100 million workers, or two-thirds of all workers in the U.S., administration officials said.”

  • “The Biden administration is relying on its powers under OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards code, which allows it to immediately enact a rule if ‘workers are in grave danger due to exposure to toxic substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or to new hazards.’”

  • “‘I don’t think he has the constitutional authority,’ said Guy T. Williams, chief executive of Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, a regional bank based in Louisiana. ‘Does the president of the United States get to dictate vaccinations?’” READ MORE

Who’s going to pay for the tests? “Doctors typically charge about $50 to $100 for the tests, so the costs of weekly testing could add up quickly. Federal law requires insurers to fully cover the tests when ordered by a health care provider, but routine workplace tests are exempt from that provision. ‘It’s really up to the employer,’ said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. ‘They can require employees to pick up the tab.’”

  • “Some patients have faced surprise medical bills for coronavirus tests, which can range from a few dollars to over $1,000.”

  • Unvaccinated workers who fall under the new federal rule may benefit from another Biden initiative announced Thursday: a plan to make rapid virus tests more widely available.”

  • “That includes making at-home tests available at cost (meaning no profit) from major retailers including Amazon and Walmart, as well as providing free rapid tests at community centers.” READ MORE

Employees are growing increasingly nervous about the delta variant: “A new report from Paychex, a Rochester-New York HR software and services company found that nearly one-third of employees say their comfort level with in-person work has decreased due to the Covid-19 delta variant. ‘While employers may be eager to see employees back in the office, surging Covid-19 cases tied to the delta variant are igniting safety concerns for workers that employers cannot ignore,’ said HR expert Jeanne Meister.” READ MORE

STARTUPS

A Chicago startup makes it easy to send gifts even when you’re no longer here: “These ‘beyond the grave’ gifts, like the husband who died in 2012 but still scheduled Valentine's Day flowers for his wife every year, have typically required users to jump through hoops and schedule deliveries with multiple companies to fulfill future orders. But Chicago startup CirceIt has created a digital platform to send gifts, flowers, personalized messages and more for years to come.”

  • “Inspired by his father's final wishes for Shaikh to deliver messages and gifts to other family members after his passing, [founder Art] Shaikh calls the startup ‘the Hallmark for the 21st century,’ allowing users to share gifts and messages far into the future while also preserving their legacy.”

  • “The longest date a future card is scheduled for delivery on its platform is 27 years, Shaikh said.” READ MORE

HUMAN RESOURCES

More states are requiring employers to disclose the salaries they pay: “A growing number of states are enacting measures known as ‘pay transparency,’ which force companies to disclose their compensation levels. New laws set to take effect in Connecticut and Nevada next month, and in Rhode Island in 2023, require employers to provide applicants the salary range they pay for each position at some point in the hiring process. Four other states and two cities have enacted similar mandates, some of which also require employers to disclose their pay scales to existing employees. The most far-reaching law, which Colorado implemented in January, compels businesses to include their salary ranges in every job posting — effectively making their payroll public.”

  • “ Study after study shows that greater transparency narrows pay inequities based on race and gender.”

  • “Colorado's law has terrified employers, and a trade group sued the state in an unsuccessful bid to block it.”

  • “Their concerns boil down to two issues. First, job postings are visible to everyone. That makes it easier for competitors to poach their employees.”

  • “It also reveals any pay disparities to their employees, who could use the information to demand the same salaries being offered to new hires.” READ MORE

Amazon will offer free college educations to attract and retain workers: “Amazon is offering to pay college tuition for more than 750,000 U.S. employees, as the battle for hourly workers escalates beyond minimum wages. The e-commerce giant joins other retailers, restaurant chains, garbage haulers and meat processors dangling the prospect of a free college education as a way to lure and retain staff in a tight U.S. job market. Amazon said Thursday that it will cover the cost of tuition and books for staff pursuing bachelor’s degrees at various universities nationwide. Hourly employees will be eligible for the new perk after 90 days on the job. It didn’t identify the schools.”

  • “The stepped-up perks also reflect what executives say is a reality across the corporate sphere: Even $15 an hour, Amazon’s base wage, is no longer enough to attract many workers.”

  • “Amazon will pay tuition and fees upfront, instead of reimbursing employees later.”

  • “Amazon doesn’t require employees to pay back tuition or fees if they leave the company in the middle of a course or shortly after completing a program.” READ MORE

FROM OUR SPONSOR: WOMPLY

At Womply, we believe everyone should be able to start, run, and grow their own business: When the pandemic hit, we stepped up to support business owners: 

  • 933K businesses received funding through Womply

  • 1.3M loans funded

  • $19B deposited

  • $14.4K average loan 

Womply is proud to have earned the trust of so many and excited to serve the community in the years to come. VISIT WOMPLY TO SIGN UP TODAY

TECHNOLOGY

Sneek is a digital “tattleware” platform that allows employers to track their remote workers: “According to the Sneek co-founder Del Currie, the software is meant to replicate the office. ‘We know lots of people will find it an invasion of privacy, we 100 percent get that, and it’s not the solution for those folks,’ Currie says. ‘But there’s also lots of teams out there who are good friends and want to stay connected when they’re working together.’”

  • “Every minute or so, the program would capture a live photo of David and his workmates via their company laptop webcams. The ever-changing headshots were splayed across the wall of a digital conference waiting room that everyone on the team could see.”

  • “Clicking on a colleague’s face would unilaterally pull them into a video call. If you were lucky enough to catch someone goofing off or picking their nose, you could forward the offending image to a team chat via Sneek’s integration with the messaging platform Slack.”

  • “For David, though, Sneek was a dealbreaker. He quit after less than three weeks on the job. ‘I signed up to manage their digital marketing,’ he tells me, ‘not to livestream my living room.’” READ MORE

RETAIL

Here’s a graphic look at the 30-year rise and fall of Blockbuster locations around the country: CLICK HERE

If you see a story that business owners should know about, hit reply and send me the link. If you got something out of this email, you can click the heart symbol, you can click the comment icon below, and you can share it with a friend. Thanks for reading, everyone. — Loren