The coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, is having a devastating effect on small businesses, their owners, and employees around the world.
“Small businesses are on the front line of this crisis,” Amanda Ballantyne told The New York Times. She is executive director of Main Street Alliance, a public policy group for small businesses. “The impact on consumer demand can really impact the economy, so we think there’s an urgent need to get planning to local businesses.”
On March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) in relation to hiring and re-verifying employees. Prior to this announcement, the DHS policy required employer representatives to conduct the I-9 verification process in person, examining an employee’s original documents in the presence of the employee.
The Senate has resumed negotiations on a third economic stimulus package to help Americans and the American economy weather the coronavirus pandemic. The phase-three support bill is expected to designate between $1.5 and $2 trillion to help businesses survive as millions of their customers are told to stay home.
The Senate’s inaction has weighed heavily on financial markets, in spite of the Fed’s new promise to shore up businesses large and small.
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