Changes continue to occur in the United States because of coronavirus. More than one vaccine has finally arrived, but questions abound about how fast it will noticeably help America. With not as many people getting the vaccine as had been hoped, it is questionable how soon a difference will be made in the economy – and in your business.
The Big Picture Now
At the end of 2020, the vaccine has just started being delivered. Different states are giving it to different groups, with the majority being given to needy medical staff first and some to seniors in nursing homes. Some places are saying that not many people are getting the vaccines but the numbers do seem to be growing.
This means that vaccinations – or a lack thereof – may continue to affect your business. It could cause a rift among your employees and staff between those that get the vaccine and those that do not. There also could be a rift between those that have already been infected and those that have not.
Should Vaccines Be Mandated
Your business depends on employee presence – whether they are working on-site or off. You need people to do their jobs to be able to sustain your business. At present, business owners can mandate that their employees get a vaccine. If you do mandate it when it becomes available, with the present attitude that some have toward getting vaccinated, it may mean losing some employees. Before implementing it, you may want to take a survey and get an idea of how people will feel about it before making a decision.
A New COVID Has Arrived
It has been reported that the new virus from the U.K. has arrived in the U.S. This virus is said to be much more contagious than the previous versions, which means if one employee gets it, it will spread fast among your workplace. Be prepared for the new wave to affect your business if COVID-19 has not already passed through it. Be sure to have some money saved if you need to shut your doors once again.
More Money for the Payroll Protection Plan
If you think that the rapid spread of coronavirus is soon going to affect your business negatively, you may want to apply quickly to get financial help from the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP). The new stimulus package has designated more money – $284 billion – to go into the fund to help small businesses. Remember that these loans are forgivable when used according to the guidelines.
Although the PPP program had some of its rules relaxed, there is the possibility that the Small Business Administration (SBA) may add some new ones. They have up to 10 days to do this if they are going to. Otherwise, you will be expected to use 60% of the money toward salaries, and the remaining portion for rent and utilities. The new bill also prevents the IRS from charging taxes on the loan – which previously stymied many small businesses from wanting to take the loan – even though they desperately needed it.
Help Financially Needy Employees Get Help
Some of your employees may be struggling financially. This is especially true if they were temporarily laid off. They may be behind in rent, risk having their utilities cut off, or may be struggling to find enough food for the family each week.
The new stimulus bill that was just passed can provide some help for needy families. Besides receiving the $600 per adult and child, money has also been set aside to help with rent, utilities, and food. The money is available through some state and local agencies. There are conditions on who can receive it – those who have the lowest incomes will be helped first.