Small

What Congress got right with PPP, and what it should do next for small businesses

These days, you hear a lot about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and not in a good way. 

The historic program was designed to rapidly distribute up to $659 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses across the country, helping them stay afloat and keep employees paid during the pandemic.

It’s difficult to overstate how unprecedented that number is. For context, the Small Business Administration (SBA), which runs PPP, provided a total of $28 billion in loans in 2019. 

Rolling out so much money in just two months has come with complications. Banks often prioritized existing customers and their most profitable borrowers when distributing funds, leaving the smallest businesses behind. Bad actors took advantage of the program to get money they didn’t need. And as the forgiveness stage nears, there’s widespread concern over the government’s exposure to fraud. 

But is that the real story of the PPP? 

At this very

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Avoid the top 7 tech mistakes most small businesses make

There was a time when small-business people did not have to be geeky or tech savvy.

How quaint.

Especially now, in this COVID-19 world, it is vital that anyone owning, running or working in a small business be as smart about technology as they are about business.

That is sometimes easier said than done.

Here are the most common tech mistakes that small businesses make, and how to avoid them.

1. Looking small

Of all the great things the internet has brought to small business – and the ability to sell anywhere, anytime is just for starters – maybe best of all is that there is no need to ever look small again. You may be small offline, but online, you can look every bit as big as your biggest competitor. If your website and social presence aren’t top notch, you are leaving money on the table.

2. Lack of

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Does your small business need a website? Try these services.

Does your small business need a website? Try these services.
Does your small business need a website? Try these services.

If you have a small business, you know it needs to have an online presence. The days of being able to succeed without some kind of website or online store are far behind us.

Fortunately, making your mark online has never been easier thanks to many companies offering easy-to-use website builders. That means you no longer need to hire a dedicated designer to construct your website. Many of these sites appreciate that you might not have expert knowledge, offering simple drag-and-drop interfaces and intuitive methods that help your website rank highly on search engines.

With so many services out there, how do you know what’s best for your business? Read on, and we explain what to look for when buying a website builder and everything you need to know about the best ones for you.

Why do you need a

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Frustrated Amazon sellers slam Bezos for claiming his retail platform empowers small businesses

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies remotely during a House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies remotely during a House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos joined the leaders of Apple, Facebook, and Google on July 29 to testify before Congress on antitrust issues. 

  • For Bezos, how Amazon competes with its third-party selling business comprised quite a bit of the questioning. 

  • Bezos maintained that Amazon elevates small business owners like its third-party sellers. But some Amazon sellers don’t agree. 

  • Amazon did not respond to a request for comment for this story. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testified with three other tech leaders on July 29 on antitrust issues, many of those who make their livelihood on Amazon’s retail marketplace tuned in.

There are approximately 1.7 million third-party sellers on Amazon, according to Bezos, and more than 200,000 of them generated

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PPP part 3? Everything you need to know about the proposed expansion of the small business loan program

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The emergency funding program for small businesses may be getting a revamp via a new proposal—but this time, loans would only go to the smallest, hardest-hit businesses.

Senate Republicans Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) released a new proposal late Monday that would give small, struggling businesses the option to take out an additional Paycheck Protection Program loan, tapping $190 billion in funds Congress would provide under the proposal.

Sen. Rubio urged Congress to “take action to help industries and businesses, especially minority-owned small businesses and those in low-income communities, that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement. He earlier teased the proposal last week, saying in a video on Twitter that the new eligibility requirements would help ensure that “the

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A Small Georgia City Plans to Put Students in Classrooms This Week

Jefferson High seniors Hope Terhune and Rylee Meadows, who started a petition drive calling for a mandatory mask rule, in Jefferson, Ga., an hour's drive north of Atlanta, July 24, 2020. (Melissa Golden/The New York Times)
Jefferson High seniors Hope Terhune and Rylee Meadows, who started a petition drive calling for a mandatory mask rule, in Jefferson, Ga., an hour’s drive north of Atlanta, July 24, 2020. (Melissa Golden/The New York Times)

JEFFERSON, Ga. — When Jennifer Fogle and her family moved from Indiana to Georgia 13 years ago, they settled in Jefferson, a small, handsome city an hour’s drive from Atlanta, because they had heard about the excellent schools. And until recently, they had little to complain about. The teachers are passionate and committed, and the facilities rival those found at some private schools.

But in recent days Fogle found herself uncharacteristically anxious, after learning that Jefferson City Schools planned to offer face-to-face instruction in the midst of a resurgent coronavirus pandemic that has seen thousands of new cases reported daily in Georgia.

As other districts around the state delayed their back-to-school days or moved

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Virus Resurgence Sends A Clear Message To Small Businesses That The Future Remains Uncertain

Small business owners are contending with some of the most trying economic conditions in recent memory. Suppliers are seeing their orders limited by a hobbled supply chain, shops and retailers are facing lower sales from a financially insecure client base and restaurants and bars are being forced to weigh the needs of their staff against the lower capacity imposed by socially-distanced dining areas.

But the most trying aspect of running a small business in the time of a pandemic is the reality that these conditions may continue for months on end. The U.S. and many other countries are already seeing a resurgence of infections and hospitalizations after just a few weeks of reopening measures.

Small Business Strife

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to many business owners’ innate hopes for future growth. A recent article from William Dunkelberg, the Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, describes

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Austin Small Business Owners Pessimistic On Coronavirus Recovery

AUSTIN, TX — Austin has the nation’s largest share of small business owners who think they won’t be able to recover from the corrosive economic effects of the coronavirus, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Researchers at LendingTree, the nation’s largest online lending marketplace, analyzed results from the U.S. Bureau of the Census Small Business Pulse Survey before calculating the percentage of small business owners in the 50 largest U.S. metros who believe economic recovery is beyond their reach.

Among the key findings:

  • Neighboring San Antonio ranked second, with 14.9 percent of respondents not believing their business will recover from the pandemic. Moreover, more than 62 percent of San Antonio small business owners believe it will take at least four months before business is back to normal.

  • At the other end of the spectrum, small business owners in some cities do see light at the end of the tunnel

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Amazon Calls Itself Small Business Pal With Bezos Set to Testify

(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. is touting the success of the independent merchants on its site, previewing arguments Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is expected to make next week to a congressional committee.

The Amazon founder is scheduled to testify on Monday before a House of Representatives panel probing competition in tech, alongside the top executives at Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. It will be Bezos’s first appearance before Congress.

Small- and medium-sized U.S.-based sellers averaged more than $160,000 in product sales on Amazon in the year ended May 31, up from about $100,000 during the prior period, the company said in a report released Tuesday. These merchants sold 3.4 billion products during the period, up from 2.7 billion a year earlier.

A periodic disclosure detailing Amazon’s small-business offerings from seller support to cloud-computing software, the report didn’t offer specific explanations for U.S. merchants’ rapid sales gains. But a

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Hoboken Gets $1.9M For Small Business, $8M For Coronavirus Care

HOBOKEN, NJ — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and other officials announced on Wednesday that Hoboken small businesses can get $1.9 million in CARES Act funding, and that the city will also get $8 million for the city’s coronavirus expenses including testing, food for seniors, costs of disinfecting public buildings, and more. (Find out how to get a coronavirus test in Hoboken at the end of the story.)

Businesses affected by the crisis can apply for grants of up to $20,000 through a program administered by Hoboken and Hudson County.

Some small businesses and schools in Hoboken have already received federal PPP loans, which can be forgiven (see the list here). Others set up GoFundMe accounts for their staff at the beginning of the pandemic. But even those who’ve gotten PPP loans say they still have struggles. READ MORE: Here Are The Hoboken Businesses That Got PPP Loans.

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