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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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New Survey Finds Nearly Half of Small-Business Owners Don’t See a Need for Physical Stores (Infographic)

New Survey Finds Nearly Half of Small-Business Owners Don’t See a Need for Physical Stores (Infographic)

An August survey of 500 small-business owners found they’re instead focusing on digital sales.

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Despite the challenges of the past seven months, stories of resilience abound as business owners adapt to changing customer demands. Though surveys at the beginning of the pandemic indicated small-business owners thought things might be beyond hope, that’s slowly started to change. 

A survey by website and marketing solutions provider Bluehost released last week asked 500 business owners with fewer than 100 employees how they’ve transitioned online, adapted to ecommerce and adjusted their outlooks on future pain points, obstacles and potential opportunities. Not surprisingly, business owners cited their biggest concerns revolve around securing new customers, the continued economic impact of the pandemic and lower consumer demand. 

Related: Nearly Half of Business Owners Think the Changes They’ve Made During the Crisis Will Be Permanent (Infographic)

Despite those concerns, 72 percent of small-business owners say they’re optimistic, and a similar percentage acknowledge how important a digital presence and ecommerce will be as they adjust to life post-pandemic. Perhaps most surprisingly, those business owners surveyed don’t see a return to brick-and-mortar in their futures: Nearly half (48 percent) say they see no need for a future store, and only 20 percent plan to reopen a physical location in the next year. 

Related: How the Behavior of Job-Seekers Has Changed Since February (Infographic)

Read through the infographic below for more information from the survey. 

Related: According to His Tweets, Bill Gates Is Way More Stressed Out Than Elon Musk (Infographic)

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During Financial Challenges, Small-Business Insurance Fees Matter More Than Ever

During Financial Challenges, Small-Business Insurance Fees Matter More Than Ever

Dennis Dix is Chief Operating Officer at Cerity, an Austin-based data and analytics start-up offering workers’ compensation insurance.

Small-business fees for things like insurance and payroll services always eat away at the bottom line, but as the pandemic drags on, business owners should be increasing their awareness of how to keep these fees under control. Fortunately, several new-model services offer significant savings for businesses in the know.

Today, small businesses can take advantage of significant cost savings when processing payroll. Additionally, worker’s compensation insurance providers could potentially save business owners big money — with the right technology, no commissions and no upfront costs. 

The Future: Direct-To-Consumer Worker’s Compensation

Like never before, small business owners are learning, evaluating and making greater purchasing decisions completely online. As consumers themselves, owners’ expectations are higher. To be successful these days, insurers cannot simply rely on their domain expertise to attract buyers. Now, they must develop an intuitive and attractive user interface that guides users through an efficient process, requiring little data input.

Insurers that embrace a digital-first lens to the customer experience can gain traction with small business owners. For example, my company uses an “outside-in” methodology that offers direct-to-consumer access through a web-based questionnaire and process that can get small business worker’s compensation insurance coverage in as few as five minutes. The direct-to-consumer approach enables small businesses to save significant money by sidestepping traditional retail channels and removing the intermediary. This approach can enable leaders to focus on growing and scaling their operations while saving money.

Pay As You Go: The New Worker’s Compensation Model

“Pay as you go” is another way that small business owners take control of costs. The cost of worker’s compensation insurance (the premium) varies depending on the jurisdiction any given business is in, as well as

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