PPP Borrowers Get a Reprieve

You don’t have to start repaying your loan while you appeal for forgiveness.

Good morning!

Here are today’s highlights:

  • Businesses are being more open about what they pay in job listings.

  • New York City is the first to require proof of vaccination for indoor dining.

  • If you’ve paid your debt to society, should you be allowed to work?

FINANCE

Diana Ransom reports a new SBA ruling that says businesses don’t have to start repaying PPP loans while they appeal a forgiveness decision: “In its latest interim final rule, released June 28, the SBA now says anyone currently appealing their loan decision with its office of hearings and appeals can delay scheduled repayments. That also applies to anyone appealing future PPP loan forgiveness decisions. The repayment period begins 10 months after a borrower's eight- or 24-week covered period ends. Prior to the ruling, borrowers were expected to begin making loan payments as originally scheduled, regardless of the status of their loan appeal.”

  • “The ruling stands to ease borrowers' minds at a time when millions of business owners are expected to start applying for forgiveness.”

  • “Starting [today], the SBA is allowing borrowers with PPP loans of $150,000 or less—which account for 95 percent of all such loans issued in 2021—to apply for loan forgiveness directly with the agency.” READ MORE

Banks say businesses are loading up on credit: “Bank executives said their business clients have in recent months ramped up requests for credit lines that can be drawn quickly for spending on inventory, labor or expansions. Companies aren’t actually drawing the money into their bank accounts just yet. Businesses are already stuffed with cash, and supply-chain issues and labor shortages have crimped their ability to spend it. But bankers say the activity in recent months is evidence that businesses are planning to turn on the spending spigot. That could help the economy shoot higher.”

  • “Bank executives said the demand is coming from companies in health care, industrial products, food products and wholesale supply. They said companies appear to be arming up in hopes they can build back inventory quickly if their supply chains can deliver the products they need.”

  • “For instance, auto dealers starved of inventory are sitting on large unused credit lines, executives at several banks said.” READ MORE

HUMAN RESOURCES

Businesses are being more up front about how much they pay: “In a labor market where workers are quitting en masse, seeking out better positions, and feeling the impact of employers raising wages, companies are scrambling to staff up. One new measure they're taking: Saying just how much their open roles pay. ... Particularly hard-hit industries increased their job postings with salary information the most. In 2019, just 5 percent of restaurant host positions included salary information; that climbed up to 14 percent in 2021. Prospective nurse practitioners also got a lot more clarity in how much they might get paid, with 18 percent of listings including information — a stark contrast to just 6 percent in 2019.”

  • “Newer legislation in Colorado mandates that employers tell applicants just how much the role pays, in an effort to ensure workers are being equally paid.”

  • “Some companies started posting job listings that explicitly excluded applicants from Colorado.” READ MORE

A survey says most employees would take a pay cut to work remotely: “The online survey, conducted by the polling firm Pollfish on July 20 and 21, included responses from 1,000 people who said they were ‘employed or looking for work at a job that can be completed entirely remotely.’ Most people said they wouldn’t give up more than 5 percent, but 15 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to shave off 25 percent of their salary to be remote. Nearly half — 46 percent — said they would give up a quarter of their days off, and 15 percent said they would give up all paid time off to be able to work from home.” READ MORE

Another survey found that a third of workers say returning to the office had a negative impact on their mental health: “Workers are most concerned for their physical health and safety when returning to the office, as well as losing a sense of autonomy gained while working remotely during the pandemic. The two concerns are felt among both those who’ve returned and those anticipating their return, says Jeris Stueland, a senior associate partner at McKinsey and co-author of the report.”

  • “Workers want to know whether the office is physically safe to return to, for example if the building has improved its ventilation and air quality, or if shared spaces are being deep-cleaned more often.”

  • “Meanwhile, researchers have cautioned that returning to a physical workplace can increase burnout, which can show up in three main ways: exhaustion (a depletion of mental or physical resources), cynical detachment (a depletion of social connectedness) and a reduced sense of efficacy (a depletion of value for yourself).” READ MORE

Jamie Dimon wants Congress to pass a “clean slate” law: “One in three American adults — more than 70 million people — have some type of criminal record. To put this in perspective, about the same number of Americans have college degrees right now. Unfortunately, these Americans, who were incarcerated or have a conviction on their record, are essentially unable to secure good jobs in this country. Nearly half of formerly incarcerated people are unemployed one year after leaving prison. That is a moral outrage.”

  • “This group is ready to work and deserves a second chance — an opportunity to fill the millions of job openings across the country.” READ MORE

THE COVID ECONOMY

New York City will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining: “New York City will become the first U.S. city to require proof of at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine for a variety of activities for workers and customers — indoor dining, gyms, and performances — to put pressure on people to get vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday morning. The program, similar to mandates issued in France and Italy last month, will start on Aug. 16, and after a transition period, enforcement will begin on Sept. 13, when schools are expected to reopen and more workers could return to offices in Manhattan.”

  • “Indoor movies and concerts will also require people to show proof of vaccination to enter. People will be able to continue to dine outdoors without showing proof of vaccination.” READ MORE

In Philadelphia, some restaurants are demanding proof of vaccination: “The reaction has been polarizing and impassioned — the latest conflict between restaurants and customers since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Those who favor the proof of vaccinations contend that private businesses are free to govern conduct, including mandating vaccines for workers. Critics counter that restaurants can have no stake in people’s medical decisions and argue that vaccinated people can still spread the virus, making these house rules ineffective. The Instagram accounts of Cornerstone in Wayne and Martha in Kensington became battlegrounds over the weekend.”

  • “Michael Ferreri, chef and owner of Irwin’s, on the roof of the Bok building, said patrons are told the policy at the ground-floor reception area.”

  • “Irwin’s will not allow those without proof to dine indoors or outdoors because the deck and restrooms are accessible through the dining room, said Ferreri, who said he implemented the policy for the safety of his staff, which is fully vaccinated.”

  • “‘Some of the pushback that we got was, What if they have a fake vaccine card?’ Christine Kondra said. ‘And I was like, Well, there’s only so much that I can control and I’m going to go on that.’” READ MORE

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Airlines still expect business travel to return this fall: “Delta Air Lines is adding back flights this fall in business centers such as New York and Boston, while cutting back on flying many of the vacation routes that became popular over the summer. ‘We’re pivoting our capacity to now supplying more business seats,’ said Joe Esposito, Delta’s senior vice president of network planning.nDelta has been polling corporate customers to ensure it gets the timing right.”

  • “‘We don’t want to put the seats in before they fly,’ Mr. Esposito said. ‘We want to put the seats in when they’re ready to get back in the air.’”

  • “​​Vasu Raja, American Airlines’s chief revenue officer, said last month that there has been a lag of four to eight weeks between when employees return to offices and when business travel starts to pick up.”

  • “For major business corridors including New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, the airline anticipates demand starting to come back in October, he said.” READ MORE

THE 21 HATS PODCAST

Episode 71: I Had Two Great Candidates. They Both Blew Up: This week, we delve into some specific hiring situations, including Jay Goltz telling Diana Lee and Dana White that he thought he had two terrific candidates to replace his retiring chief financial officer. And then, after conversations with each of them, Jay had no candidates, which led us to some interesting questions: Has there been a more challenging time to hire for cultural fit? How risky is it for a smaller business to hire a candidate accustomed to working at larger businesses? And what does hiring intentionally for diversity mean when your staff is almost entirely African American? Plus: Dana gives us an update on her potential deal with the military, and Diana explains how she markets her marketing agency.

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