Poll: 73 Percent of Virginia Small Businesses Want Republican-Run Congress

Nearly three-quarters of small business owners in Virginia hope Republicans will come out on top, according to a poll conducted by the small business network Alignable.

According to the poll, 73 percent of small business owners hope Republicans will control both chambers of Congress. Less than one-fifth of business owners, about 18 percent want to see Democrats control both chambers. Another 4 percent are hoping for split control of Congress and about 6 percent chose none of the above.

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69 Percent of Minnesota Small Business Owners Want Republicans to Sweep Congress

Nearly 70% of Minnesota small business owners said in a survey that it’s best for business if Republicans control Congress.

Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, Alignable asked 4,795 randomly selected U.S.-based business owners “What outcome to the November midterm elections would benefit your business the most?”

Alignable Head of Research, Corporate Communications and News Chuck Casto told The Center Square Thursday that the national survey included 367 Minnesota businesses.

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Ohio New Business Startups See Uptick

Ohio new business startups broke a downward trend in August, but not enough to return to levels from a year ago.

The state registered 15,815 new business filings in August, slightly higher than July, which represented a six-month low and four consecutive month of declines, Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced.

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Small Businesses Risk Shutting Down in Droves Amid Elevated Inflation, Energy Prices

Nearly half of American small business owners say they are at risk of closing down this fall, according to new survey data.

The small business network Alignable released the survey, which found that “47% of small business owners … say their businesses are at risk of closing by fall 2022, unless economic conditions improve significantly.”

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TN-5 Candidate Geni Batchelor Talks About Her Entrepreneurial Spirit and Why She’s Running for Congress

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed TN5 candidate and newcomer to politics, entrepreneur Geni Batchelor in studio to discuss her life experience and why she’s running for Congress.

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Small Business Optimism Continues to Fall Nationwide, Ohio

Small business optimism fell to its lowest point in nearly 50 years, and Ohio small business owners remain cautious about growth, according to the monthly National Federation of Independent Business Optimism Index.

The index fell 0.1 points in May to 93.1, making it the fifth consecutive month below the organization’s 48-year average of 98. At the same time, the nationwide survey showed the percentage of owners expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months fell 4 points to 54%. That also represented the lowest mark in 48 years.

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Author and Feminist Naomi Wolf Discusses Her New Book, ‘The Bodies of Others: The New Authoritarians, COVID-19 and the War Against the Human’

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed feminist, author, and champion of liberty Dr. Naomi Wolf to the newsmakers line to discuss the motivation behind her upcoming book, The Bodies of Others: The New Authoritarians, COVID-19 and the War Against the Human and explain the changing landscape of publishing.

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Ohio’s Record Run of Business Startups Stops

Ohio’s record run of business startups ended in April, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose blamed rising inflation for discouraging entrepreneurs from creating new business.

LaRose on Thursday also called on leaders in Washington to put politics aside and work to bring rising costs under control.

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Beacon Center’s Mark Cunningham Describes the Nature of New Listening Tours Starting Tonight in Chattanooga

A woman and man sitting a a desk with laptop and notes on the table

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Vice President of Strategy and Communications for the Beacon Center, Mark Cunningham to the newsmaker line to explain their new listening tours.

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Youngkin to Go After Unemployment Fraud, Gets Thanks from Virginia Businesses

Woman organizing table contents in restaurant

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced a deal aimed at cracking down on fraudulent unemployment claims, a move that garnered support from members of the business community.

The governor and Attorney General Jason Miyares signed an agreement with the Virginia Employment Commission, which allows the attorney general to represent the VEC in the prosecution of criminal unemployment compensation fraud cases.

“The VEC has asked that I take on this responsibility, and I enthusiastically agreed to the VEC’s request,” Miyares said in a statement. “Protecting the Commonwealth from crime is one of my top priorities as Attorney General. Fraudulent claims must be prosecuted and fraud on the unemployment fund diverts resources from those who need them most.”

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Gov. Evers Signs Law That Exempts Restaurant Revitalization Grants from State Taxes

Gov. Tony Evers holding up recently signed legislation

Another Republican-driven tax cut has been signed by Gov. Tony Evers.

Evers on Monday signed AB 717, which exempts any and all Restaurant Revitalization grants from state taxes.

“This will ensure that these funds are treated like the Paycheck Protection Loans by making them state-tax-exempt,” Evers said.

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State Representative Diana Harshbarger Talks About Her Background and Owning a Successful Small Business

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Representative Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee’s First Congressional District in studio to talk about her background and owning a small successful pharmacy business.

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Commentary: Protect Small Businesses from the Scourge of Stolen and Counterfeit Goods

Recent images from the Los Angeles railyards of a sea of cardboard wreckage, the remnants of thousands of stolen packages, have made national headlines. Union Pacific railroad said criminal rail theft in LA has increased by more than 2.5 times since December 2020. Yet while most media coverage focuses on this third-world scene, little has been made of the consequences for the small business sellers ripped off by this grand theft.

Whether it comes in the form of widescale package theft by criminal enterprises or organized smash-and-grab robberies at brick and mortar stores, theft has become a big problem for small businesses. A new survey finds that nearly all small business owners experienced an increase in theft in 2021.

This isn’t the shoplifting of your parent’s generation. Elaborate criminal networks steal and resell goods at below-market rates on internet marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Alibaba. The cost of lost inventory and ensuing cut-rate online competition puts tremendous pressure on small business margins that are already strained by the highest inflation in 40 years and severe supply chain disruptions.  

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Business Owner Jailed for Violating Walz Orders Released from Custody

An Albert Lea woman who was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders was released from custody Saturday morning.

Lisa Hanson, owner of The Interchange Wine and Coffee Bistro, refused to close her business when Gov. Walz ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to shut down. She was found guilty of six misdemeanors as a result.

Prosecutors argued for a $500 fine and several days in jail, but Judge Joseph Bueltel wanted to make an example out of Hanson, which he made clear in court. Bueltel reprimanded Hanson for “making money” while “suckers down the street closed.”

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Arizona Small Businesses Don’t Want California-Style Employment Laws

Person using Apple Pay at cafe

Copper State small business owners appear to have embraced the local colloquialism “Don’t California my Arizona,” according to results of a new survey.

The Arizona chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business released its annual poll of Main St. entrepreneurs Monday. 

NFIB got responses to three questions from 247 small business owners across the state this month. 

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The Entrepreneurs Corner: Refined Men’s Salon Owner Julie White Talks What She Did During the Coronavirus Shutdown

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Owner of Refined Men’s Salon in Franklin, Tennessee, Julie White to reflect upon the onset of coronavirus restrictions.

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Arizona Ranks First in Nation for Small Business Growth

A new report from the payroll company PayChex ranked the states in order of small business job growth and Arizona came out No. 1, with nearly 6% growth over the past year. Phoenix ranked third among the country’s 20 most populated cities. The Arizona Legislature released a report shortly before that showing Arizona is in great condition, breaking records. The state passed historic tax cuts this year, preventing a 77% increase on small business taxes, reducing small business property taxes by 10%, and capping the maximum tax rate on businesses at 4.5%.

Frank Fiorelle, vice president of risk, compliance and data analytics at Paychex, explained that a lot of the job growth is due to the pandemic ending. “A lot of those restaurants are coming back online, opening the doors and turning on the lights, he said. He added that states which reopened their economies earlier have higher job creation rates.

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Report: Private Companies Added Half as Many Jobs as Expected in July

Private companies added 330,000 jobs in July, far fewer than expected and the lowest amount since February, according to a major payroll report.

The 330,000 jobs added to private payroll last month represented a significant decline from the 680,000 jobs added in June, the ADP National Employment Report showed. Economists predicted that private companies would add 653,000 jobs in July, nearly double the number reported Wednesday, according to CNBC.

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Crom Carmichael: Defining Infrastructure and the Systemic Crushing of the Middle Class

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to clarify the definition of infrastructure and the systemic crushing of the middle class.

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Surging BBQ Companies Go Public, Signaling Continued Post-Pandemic Shift to Home Cooking

Man in apron, seasoning meat.

Multiple home barbecue companies are going public after a successful year and a half amid the COVID-19 crisis, an apparent reflection of increasing consumer orientation toward home cooking after many months during which dining out was sharply curtailed.

Traeger — a manufacturer of automated wood-pellet smokers — this week announced an initial public offering of 23,529,411 shares of common stock at as much as $18 per share. The company was expecting to realize around $400 million in the IPO.

The company in its IPO prospectus said it “more than doubled revenue from $262.1 million in 2017 to $545.8 million in 2020,” with huge surges in social media followings last year

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Commentary: A January 6 Detainee Speaks Out

Joe Biden’s Justice Department notched another victory last week in the agency’s sprawling investigation into the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill against Biden’s presidency.

On Wednesday, Michael Curzio pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building. The government offered the plea deal to Curzio’s court-appointed attorney in June; Curzio faced four misdemeanor charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct, for his role in the Capitol breach.

Curzio will pay the government “restitution” in the amount of $500 to help pay for the nearly $1.5 million in damages the building reportedly sustained. (The Architect of the Capitol initially said the protest caused $30 million in damages but prosecutors have set the figure far lower.)

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Small Business Owners Struggling to Find Workers

Small Business Struggle

Small business owners are continuing to have problems attracting new workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and are trying to entice them with new incentives, a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows.

“Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the current worker shortage,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber. “Many have given up on actively recruiting new workers as it is too hard to find skilled and experienced workers for their open positions.”

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More Than $300M Available to Ohio Small Businesses

Mike DeWine OH Small Businesses

Government money that established grants for small businesses in Ohio has doubled since June and remains available, according to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

DeWine initially established the grant program in June with $155 million in federal relief dollars. The fund doubled to $310 million at the beginning of July after DeWine signed the state’s new budget, which included the additional money approved by the General Assembly.

The money is meant to help small- and medium-sized businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Former Speaker of the Tennessee House Beth Harwell Discusses Maneuvering Around and Up the Ladder at the Tennessee Capitol

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Beth Harwell, former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives to the studio to discuss successes and failures on the path to Speakership.

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Gov. Whitmer Vetoes Business Tax Breaks a Day After Touting Small Businesses

Gov. Whitmer Aretha Franklin Hwy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have given small businesses an option for a tax breaks.

The governor wrote a letter explaining she vetoed the bill because it was too costly and would “primarily benefit a small number of Michiganders.”

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Business Groups Slam Biden’s ‘Flawed’ Competition, Antitrust Executive Order

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden’s competition and antitrust executive order will harm American consumers, groups representing both large and small businesses said.

The leading groups — including the Chamber of Commerce, Job Creators Network (JCN) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) — slammed Biden’s executive order, arguing that it will harm competition and present a host of challenges to small businesses. The business groups said the order is an example of big government attempting to exert control over the free market via onerous rules and regulations.

“This executive order amounts to a bizarre declaration against American businesses, from the largest to the smallest,” Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating said in a statement. “It’s hard to understand why a White House would go down such a path, especially as the economy is digging out from the COVID-19 disaster.”

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Commentary: As President Biden’s Deputy Secretary of Labor, Julie Su Would Take California’s Small-Business Nightmare National

Last Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed cloture on the nomination of Julie Su, California’s top labor official, to become President Joe Biden’s deputy secretary of labor.

Su’s confirmation vote will likely occur soon after the Independence Day Senate recess. That’s bad news.

After all, Su leads California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency, presiding over one of the most anti-small business regimes in the country. If confirmed as second-in-command at the Department of Labor, she would use her position to expand California’s war on small businesses nationwide. On behalf of their small business constituents, Senators must oppose Su’s confirmation.

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Commentary: It is Time to Fight for the Rights of Independent Businesses

As a very young man, I was fortunate enough to start my own company out of my apartment using a small amount of investment capital from friends and family. Over time, that business grew to have over 6,000 employees and revenues in excess of $2 billion. Over nearly a 40-year span, my team and I built what some would consider a remarkable track record, as measured by both sales and profits.

Because of my experience growing that business, I feel a special kinship with small, privately owned businesses and their owners. I also come from a middle-class background, one that shaped me into the person I am today. It is through both the lens of entrepreneur and member of the middle-class that I look through when reflecting upon this Independence Day.

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Just Six Percent of Small Businesses Have Fully Recovered Pandemic Losses, Poll Shows

Just 6% of small businesses that were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic have fully recovered their losses, a Job Creators Network survey showed.

The vast majority of U.S. small business owners continue to “claw their way out” of the hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the poll commissioned by small business advocacy group Job Creators Network (JCN) and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. While 6% of small business owners that suffered losses related to the pandemic said they have recovered, 43% believed they would be fully recovered within six months.

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Direct Marketing Expert Craig Huey Explains the Left Wing Groups in Nashville Organized to Get Out the Vote

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Huey Reports, Craig Huey to the studio who revealed the combination of left-wing groups conspiring to aid business elites and top corporations to destroy the small business owner.

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Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe Weighs In on the Killing of 800,00 Jobs by Death Tax

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Washington Correspondent for the Tennessee Star Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to weigh in on his latest piece addressing the death tax of Joe Biden.

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Job Creators Network CEO Alfred Ortiz Talks About the Response He’s Received on Time Square Billboard

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed CEO of Job Creators Network and the man behind the iconic billboard in Times Square Alfredo Ortiz to the newsmakers line to talk about MLB Commissioner Manfred’s strikes and balls and the destruction of small business in America.

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Michigan Business Groups Oppose Some House Health Care Reform Bills

A health care reform package the House passed Wednesday is creating a rift between the state’s business groups and the GOP.

Michigan business leaders formed a new Michigan Affordable Healthcare Coalition that aims to reduce health care costs without raising costs on small businesses.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, business leaders voiced opposition to House bills 4346 and 4354, claiming they would raise health insurance premiums that are already a heavy burden for many businesses.

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Rep. Bruce Griffey Seeks to Revive E-Verify Legislation by Invoking a Special House Rule

In an effort to revive the legislation requiring the use of E-Verify for Tennessee employers with six or more employees, Rep. Bruce Griffey filed the necessary paperwork Thursday to recall the bill in accordance with a House rule.
Rule 53 of the House of Representatives Permanent Rules of Order for the 112th General Assembly allows for a process to recall a bill from committee. If the effort is successful, the bill will be scheduled directly to the House floor for a vote, bypassing the committee process that killed the bill.

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Legislation Killed in House Subcommittee Lowering E-Verify Threshold Would Have Reverted to State Law Between 2011 and 2016

A bill that was killed last week in the House Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee would have reverted to the threshold required for E-Verify in legislation signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam in 2011 and remained in effect until 2016.

Currently, employers are required under state law to use the E-Verify program to confirm work authorization status of their employees, but only if they have 50 or more employees.

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The Small Businesses with the Largest Increase in the Number of Employees Are Exempt from E-Verify

Tennessee small businesses that experienced the largest increases in the number of employees over the past five years are exempt from the requirement to ensure that their employees are not illegal aliens through the use of the federal government’s e-verification system.

At the federal level, E-Verify is a voluntary program.

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‘My Income Has Dropped to Zero’: About 45 Percent of Small Businesses Risk Closure Within Months

At least 13.9 million of the nation’s small businesses are at serious risk of shuttering their doors by April 1, a recent industry report found.

Forty-four percent of the country’s 31.7 million small businesses are at risk of closing by the end of the first quarter, according to small business group Alignable. Small businesses on the brink of closure expect to earn less revenue than their owners estimate is needed to stay afloat.

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Crom Carmichael Weighs in on the Elitist Democrat Mindset and the ‘Compromise’ of Crushing of Small Business

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss the elitist mindset of compromise and crushing small businesses while helping mega-corporations.

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More Than $1 Trillion in Coronavirus Aid Hasn’t Been Spent, Includes $120 Billion for Small Businesses

About $1.1 trillion in coronavirus aid, including more than $120 billion for small businesses, has still not been spent, according to a memo Republicans are circulating on Capitol Hill.

The more than $1 trillion in unspent coronavirus relief funds represents a significant portion of the $4 trillion allocated by Congress as part of multiple 2020 stimulus packages, according to the Republican Study Committee (RSC) memo reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Of the $828 billion allocated for small business loans, about $123.7 billion has not been spent, according to Small Business Administration data.

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Barstool Fund Helps Paris, Tennessee Bakery Who Employs Those with Special Needs

Sweet Jordan’s, a Paris, Tennessee bakery that employs special needs workers, was one of the latest recipients of the Barstool Fund. The donation saved their business from the pandemic-related financial strain threatening to close its doors.

Sweet Jordan’s was inspired by Jordan St. John, the two owners’ son who was born with Downs Syndrome. Their family wanted to open up a business to employ others with special needs like Jordan.

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CCO of Job Creators Network Elaine Parker Describes Their Advocacy for Small Businesses

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed CCO Elaine Parker of Job Creators Network to the newsmakers line to discuss their advocacy for small businesses nationwide.

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Dave Portnoy’s ‘Barstool Fund’ Raises $20M, Helps More Than 90 Small Businesses

The Barstool Fund, created by Dave Portnoy, has helped raise more than $20 million, helping nearly 100 small businesses hurt during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Portnoy started the Barstool Fund one month ago with his own $500,000 to help small businesses.

The fundraiser has raised $20,119,270 from more than 156,000 donors and has aided 92 small businesses across the country as of Thursday evening.

Earlier in the day, Portnoy announced his fundraising success on Twitter, but stressed that their mission is far from over.

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Second Avenue Owner of Simply the Best and Ensemble Geoffrey Lee Discusses the Loss of His Businesses in Nashville Downtown Blast

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Downtown Nashville small business owner Geoffrey Lee to the newsmakers line to talk about the loss of his two retail businesses in the bombing Christmas Day.

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Four California Small Business Owners Share Their Struggles to Survive Under Lockdowns

California small businesses are crumbling under the weight of a new stay-at-home order and a lack of meaningful financial assistance. 

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a new region-based lockdown order for California on Dec. 3, forcing more California businesses to close their doors or severely limit operations. 

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Minimum Wage Hikes Set for 2021 Imperil Businesses Struggling Amid COVID Shutdowns

More than 80 states and local municipalities are slated to see minimum wage hikes in 2021, even as business owners continue to struggle during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Employment Policies Institute, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that studies how public policy impacts employment growth, released a comprehensive list of the minimum wage increases that will go into effect next year and in subsequent years.

“Minimum wage increases are demonstrated to cause job losses even in times of economic health,” said Michael Saltsman, EPI’s managing director. “These states and local areas are increasing the cost of labor as businesses are dealing with forced closures or a drastic drop in revenue. Employers and employees will pay the price for these misguided good intentions.”

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Virginia Business Community Praises COVID-19 Stimulus, but Seeks State Action for Full Benefits

Virginia business advocates praised the COVID-19 stimulus package passed by Congress but said additional state action is necessary for businesses to receive the full benefits of the legislation.

The $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus provides about $325 billion in aid to small businesses nationally, including $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, $20 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants, $15 billion for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions and another $12 billion for businesses in low-income and minority communities.

Congress’ bill also addressed a couple of concerns businesses raised regarding the first wave of PPP loans. The bill simplifies the forgiveness applications and makes the loans tax deductible at the federal level. The deductibility applies to loans that already have been received and any loans received in the second wave, which would prevent a hidden tax increase on businesses.

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