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10 Challenges Biden Faces in Righting the Economy

All presidents come into office vowing to rapidly put into effect an ambitious agenda. But for Joseph R. Biden Jr., the raging coronavirus pandemic and the economic pain it is causing mean many things must get done quickly if he wants to get the economy going. In a speech Thursday on his $1.9 trillion spending proposal, Mr. Biden repeatedly stressed the need to act “now.”But piecing together a majority in Congress could take time: Compromises and concessions will be needed to get the votes he will need to advance legislation.The new president is expected to reverse many of Donald …

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PPP Loans Q&A: Who Qualifies for a Second Round?

The Paycheck Protection Program is back.Between April and August, the program distributed $523 billion in forgivable government-backed loans to 5.2 million small businesses to help them keep paying their workers through the pandemic’s economic devastation.Now it’s restarting, after Congress included $284 billion in new funding in the stimulus package it passed in December. Crucially, the program will give the hardest-hit businesses a chance at a second loan.P.P.P. 2.0 makes other changes, too, including to eligibility and to limits for some loan sizes. Here’s what you need to know.Who is eligible?The new funding is available …

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It Could Be a Great Year, if Your Business Survives Winter

For Ashlie Ordonez, owner of the Bare Bar Studio, a spa in Denver, vaccinations for the coronavirus can’t come soon enough. While she anticipates better days later this year, surviving until then will be a struggle, and she knows the next few months will be lean ones.“I sold my wedding ring so we could pay the bills and keep the doors open,” she said. “I’m sacrificing everything to make it through this pandemic.”Vinay Patel, who manages a chain of nine hotels in Maryland and Virginia, is looking even further out for a recovery: “2022 is when we’ …

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‘It Was a Joke’: Some Small Businesses Got $1 Relief Loans

Unprofitable and Out of LuckSole proprietorships are the most common business structure in America, accounting for around 26 million businesses, according to the latest I.R.S. data. Many are sidelines — workers who pick up an occasional freelance project or collect royalties report it on their taxes as business income — but millions of people rely on their business income as their primary source of support.Yet, because of the S.B.A. edict that sole proprietors had to be profitable to get a P.P.P. loan, many didn’t qualify. Nicole Davis, an accountant in Georgia who specializes in small …

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When Can I Apply for a P.P.P. Loan?

She did not directly mention the Paycheck Protection Program — the largest lending program by far in the agency’s nearly 70-year history — but she acknowledged the turmoil many companies are experiencing.The Second StimulusAnswers to Your Questions About the Stimulus BillUpdated Dec 30, 2020The economic relief package will issue payments of $600 and distribute a federal unemployment benefit of $300 for at least 10 weeks. Find more about the measure and what’s in it for you. For details on how to get assistance, check out our Hub for Help.Will I receive another stimulus payment? Individual adults with adjusted gross income on their 2019 …

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Here Are 5 Small Businesses That Thrived During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Small businesses were devastated in 2020. They have pivoted so frequently to deal with state-mandated shutdowns, new customer needs and pandemic safety protocols that many aren’t sure what direction they’re facing anymore. Nine months into the coronavirus crisis, more than a quarter remain closed, at least temporarily, according to data from Opportunity Insights, a research group at Harvard University.But for some industries, it has been a banner year. Small-business owners serving customers who are trapped at home, shopping online and seeking outdoor adventures have tallied record sales.Success during a crisis can be uncomfortable. “I can’t say …

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The Auto I.R.A. Is Gaining Traction as a Retirement Savings Option

Illinois is seeing steady growth in worker participation despite the economic mess brought on by the coronavirus. In March, Illinois Secure Choice had 60,000 funded accounts, with $17.2 million in assets. In November, those numbers had climbed to 77,000 and $42.8 million.“To me, that underscores the value of these programs and the importance of having access,” said Courtney Eccles, the director of Illinois Secure Choice.As auto I.R.A.s gain footholds around the country, critics have surfaced. “It’s hard to say it’s a bad thing to make a savings opportunity available to people, but I would have preferred that …

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Coronavirus Deal Would Give Small Businesses a Shot at Second PPP Loan

The CARES Act designated up to $10,000 of each E.I.D.L. loan as an advance that lawmakers said would not have to be repaid. But the law required the advance to be docked from the amount that would be forgiven on a business’s P.P.P. loan, according to the Small Business Administration.Angelina Branca owns Saté Kampar in Philadelphia, an acclaimed restaurant that closed its storefront in May and has been subsisting on pop-up events. Ms. Branca used a $32,000 loan from the Paycheck Protection Program to pay her event workers, but when she applied recently to have …

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States Try to Rescue Small Businesses as U.S. Aid Is Snarled

Kirk Meurer was on track to have one of his best years ever in his business installing office furniture in the Cleveland area. But when companies began sending their workers home last spring, his business dried up practically overnight.“Even though we didn’t have to shut down like the restaurants and bars and the travel industries, it didn’t matter,” he said. “The business wasn’t there.”After some delays, Mr. Meurer got money through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which he thought would be enough to sustain him until business rebounded. But as the pandemic dragged on and …

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A $900 Billion Plan Would Help the Economy, but Not Fix It

The economic recovery, slowing for months, is in danger of going into reverse. That’s why a growing list of economists, business lobbyists and other advocacy groups are urging lawmakers to rally around the $908 billion aid package currently gaining bipartisan support in Congress.A plan of that size would fall short of doing everything that economists argue Congress should do to help workers and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. But they said that if lawmakers could get the details right, Congress should do it anyway.“It’s within the range where you could argue it does enough good that it …

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