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Small-business owners say national paid sick leave wouldn’t hurt their bottom line

Small-business owners say national paid sick leave wouldn’t hurt their bottom line

Republican arguments against laws that guarantee paid leave for workers often hinge on the notion that the policy would damage small-business owners, the backbone of our society. But what happens if you ask the small-business owners what they want? A new survey comfortably debunks the myth: Almost two-thirds of small-business owners support a national policy for paid medical and family leave.

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“A super majority of small-business owners do support—have continued to support—a national paid-leave policy,” says Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for All, the nonprofit that conducted the survey. The results appear to conflict with the widely held public perception that small businesses may be opposed to the policy, which would require businesses to give paid days off to workers for things like illness, bereavement, or parental leave. For many reasons, Huckelbridge says, the reverse is true. She contends that a paid-leave policy can help small businesses stay competitive and sturdy their bottom lines. “It helps with productivity and performance and profitability,” she says. “It makes for a happier worker, and there’s less turnover.”

Paid Leave for All started in December by bringing together various groups that had been advocating for a national leave policy, to align their goals and resources. The organization partnered with Main Street Alliance, a network of small-business owners that aims to give that community a voice on public policy issues. The survey respondents consist of 600 owners of businesses with up to 49 employees; the poll also deliberately over-samples racial minorities, by including 100 Black business owners and 100 Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander owners. About half (48%) of the respondents say they do not currently provide any type of sick, family, or medical leave.

From a public health standpoint, the coronavirus crisis has reinforced the advantages of—and dire need for—policy

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BBC Announces Major New Partnership with the National Film and Television School To Support UK Creative Sector

BBC Announces Major New Partnership with the National Film and Television School To Support UK Creative Sector

Further Education News

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In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the

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Staggers Rail Act deregulation has enabled rail industry to thrive even during times of national crisis: Analysis

Staggers Rail Act deregulation has enabled rail industry to thrive even during times of national crisis: Analysis

October 14, 2020, marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Staggers Rail Act signed by former President Jimmy Carter. The bipartisan legislation primarily deregulated the freight rail sector, which was on the brink of collapse in the 1970s.



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The rail industry’s success after 40 years of rail deregulation provides “an important case study on matters related to competition, markets, rate regulation and capitalism writ large,” the Association of American Railroads argues.

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The Staggers Rail Act eliminated many of the regulations still in place since 1887, when Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act. The act established the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to regulate monopolies controlling the railroads.

By the 1970s, the regulations had not changed. Combined with competition from other transportation sectors, major railroads were facing bankruptcy, the industry was facing ruin and rail infrastructure was so deficient that cars were falling off the tracks.

Deregulation enabled the rail industry to take a customer-focused and market-based approach. Since then, freight railroads have invested more than $710 billion of their own dollars back into the national rail network.

Since 1980, rail traffic has doubled but, because of deregulation, rail rates are down by more than 40 percent when adjusted for inflation. Customers can ship double the amount of goods for roughly the same price they could 40 years ago. And because of technological advancement, increased volume of heavy freight has been carried on rail lines instead of on congested or failing public roads making transportation safer.

“The freight rail industry is one of the most cost-effective and efficient transportation networks in the world,” the Association of American Railroads (AAR) argues. “Fueled by billions of dollars in annual private investment – $25 billion on average – railroads maintain and modernize the nation’s nearly

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Female Retail Brand Founders & National Women’s Small Business Month

Female Retail Brand Founders & National Women’s Small Business Month

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, an initiative focused on promoting female-led business operations.

In 2020, this month-long spotlight on female business owners is especially important, as recent reports show the impact of the pandemic has been dramatic on women in the workforce: Many aged 25 to 54 have stepped out of the professional environment to care for children and family. 

Despite this year’s challenges, the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report indicated upward growth in the world of female-helmed businesses. 

Findings from the research indicate there are nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the US that employ 9.4 million people and generate $1.9 trillion in sales. 

Additionally, women-owned businesses grew 21% between 2014 to 2019, while businesses owned by women of color doubled that growth rate: As of 2019, women of color accounted for 50% of all women who owned businesses.

Within the retail and direct-to-consumer sector, there are many emerging female-led businesses that have found a way to thrive in 2020 despite its many obstacles. 

I spoke with a few founders to hear their stories and to see how their retail operations are doing during the ups and downs of this year.

Marcy Capron-Vermillion and Coco Meers: Equilibria

Coco Meers (Co-Founder of PrettyQuick, acquired by Groupon in 2015) left Groupon in early 2018 to found Rebelle Collective, an early-stage investment fund focused on female entrepreneurs. 

When recruiting founders for her portfolio, she spoke with Marcy Capron-Vermillion, a technologist with whom she had built early versions of PrettyQuick. 

While Meers had the intention of investing in one of Capron-Vermillion’s new projects, their first conversation led them down an unintended path: Both were candid about recent mental and physical health struggles.

That single conversation led the duo down a greater path to co-found Equilibria in March of

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