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In the News – Justice Dept. Stopping Outrageous PPP Loan Fraud

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We’ve reached the extended deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loan.

PPP loans were created under the CARES Act for small business relief from the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, the loans have helped millions of small businesses stay afloat. But not all loans, unfortunately, went to business owners truly in need. In a report this week, we highlight 30 cases of egregious PPP loan fraud. And you’re not going to believe what some thought they might get away with when they got their money.

Sports cars, an expensive boat, lavish trips … but the Justice Dept. is on the trail of these bad apples. Check out our report detailing all their alleged bad behavior: 30 PPP Fraud Prosecutions So Far, and Counting.

And for the rest of the week in headlines important to small business owners, check out our weekly news roundup below.



Small Business News Roundup – August 7, 2020

Next Insurance Unveils Two New Products for Small Business Commercial Auto Coverage

Next Insurance has announced the launch of two new products catering to small business commercial auto coverage. The offering comes with tools and equipment insurance and upgraded commercial auto coverage. the launch of the products is part of the company’s quest to be a one-stop-shop for insurance coverage for self-employed and small businesses.

2 out of 3 of Consumers Would Buy from Companies Who Now Offer “Contactless” Payment Options

More than two thirds of customers say they would switch to businesses now offering contactless payment options. Over three quarters of consumers say they have changed how they pay, due, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic. These statistics were unveiled by a new report by Visa. The report shows that 75% of small business owners are optimistic about the future of business.

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Womply Bills Lets Businesses Pay Invoices Using Credit Cards Even Where Cards Aren’t Accepted

Womply, a local commerce platform to help small businesses grow, has launched Womply Bills. The new feature enables business owners to pay any bill effortlessly via a credit card. With Womply Bills, businesses can use any US-based credit card to pay virtually any company in America. Expenses can be paid even if the recipient doesn’t accept credit cards.

Grokker Launches Team Wellness Tool for Small Businesses

Grokker, has announced the launch of its new virtual team wellness video solution targeting small and medium-sized businesses. The latest offering by Grokker looks to address the needs of businesses seeking healthy and engaged employees. As remote working was rolled out across the nation in the wake of COVID-19 businesses shifted fitness classes from in-person to virtual sessions.

New Lightspeed Tools Helping Small Retail Businesses

As the landscape in which small retail businesses operate in continues to change, they must adapt. The new digital tools from Lightspeed look to help retailers improve their digital transformation and address the changes taking place. The company is introducing in-store POS, eCommerce, Digital Wallet, and Analytics Core solutions.

Reach More Customers with Messenger’s Enhanced Chat Plugin

With so many channels and points of contact in the digital ecosystem checking for messages can be a job in itself. The new Chat Plugin from Messenger is going to simplify this process by allowing you to communicate with your customers on your site even if they are not logged into Facebook.

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Uber Drivers Severely Impacted by Coronavirus Restrictions

A recent survey by Ridester reveals that Uber and Lyft drivers earn less than $5 an hour. The findings indicate the high impact pandemic has had on rideshare services. Of those surveyed in late July, 90% report losing 80% or more of their income because of the pandemic.

82% of Shoppers Will Pay More Now to Support Small Businesses

A study by Red Egg Marketing reveals that as much as 82% of shoppers will pay more to support small businesses. Revealing shoppers’ motivation to support local businesses in the wake of COVID-19. A whopping 82.76 % of shoppers say they would rather support a local business than a large corporation. With eight out of 10 of them willing to spend more money at their local business.

BlueVine and DoorDash Partner on PPP Loan Application Tool for Restaurant Owners

FinTech company BlueVine has partnered with DoorDash to provide a custom PPP loan application for small businesses. The opportunity is designed for restaurants that partner with DoorDash for delivery services. And it’s meant to help those companies save time on the application process. Independent restaurants have been hit extremely hard by the pandemic.

Keap Awarded $100,000 in Small Business Grants During Pandemic

In recent months, Keap awarded two rounds of Keep Going small business grants. During each round Keap awarded $100,000 total in $500 grants. For more info on the grants, see below beginning with Keep Going Stories. Keap Keep Going Grants for Small Business Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) develops sales and marketing campaigns for small businesses.

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New Demandforce Mobile App Gives Small Business Communications On the Go

Demandforce has launched its mobile app that provides businesses more access to client communication tools and marketing automation features. It lets users easily manage and run their business from anywhere with instant mobile access to valuable information. This includes those of clients, schedules, appointment requests, and two-way text conversations.

Only 37% of Hotels Have Brought Back Half of Their Employees

Only 37% of hotels have brought back half of their employees according to a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Furthermore, 9 in 10 hotels have been forced to either lay off or furlough their employees due to COVID-19. Businesses in the events and leisure sectors were hit the hardest as the pandemic unfolded.

AccountingGo Launches Service to Connect Small Business with Affordable Accounting Services

Now there’s a free directory of affordable accounting and advisory firms for small business struggling with costs and the pandemic. AccountingGo just launched in Houston and 12 other US cities. The service lists firms that are less than three years old since these tend to cost less. AccountingGo Launches in US for Small Businesses David Maly is a company spokesperson.

The Latest Poll on How Small Businesses are Handling the COVID-19 Pandemic

A good reference for how companies are handling the Covid-19 Pandemic is the Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll sponsored by Met Life and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Image: Depositphotos.com





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