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Voya Launches New Program to Boost Retirement Savings for Minority-Owned Businesses

Voya Launches New Program to Boost Retirement Savings for Minority-Owned Businesses

Voya’s new ‘Just Right Advantage’ program seeks to increase retirement readiness for businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and members of the disability and LGBTQ communities — as well as nonprofits that serve them

New Voya research finds 79% of Americans believe corporations should support minority-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today a first-of-its-kind program to support greater retirement planning opportunities for minority, women, veteran, disability, and LGBTQ-owned businesses — along with nonprofit organizations that serve them. The Just Right Advantage™ Program is focused on helping employers and organizations within undercapitalized, underserved and “under-saved” communities by offering a fee credit when they establish or retain their retirement plan. In helping to support the employees within these businesses to become better prepared for retirement, the new program further expands on Voya’s recent efforts to help Americans address the financial challenges of COVID-19.

“We believe that this is an important time to support the businesses and communities that have been most heavily impacted by COVID-19, including those owned by minorities and other underserved communities,” said Rodney O. Martin, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, Voya Financial. “The financial challenges brought on by the pandemic were exacerbated for many of the businesses within these communities due to forced closures and lack of access to relief funds. As part of our aspiration to be America’s Retirement Company, we commit to working together with employers and individuals to advance everyone’s opportunity for a better financial future. This is just one example of how we can do our part – and help demonstrate that Voya stands for diversity, equity and inclusion for all.”

The Just Right Advantage program comes at a time when a majority (79%) of Americans agree it is important that corporations do all they can to help minority-owned

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Mercury Insurance Launches Programs to Help California Homeowners with Wildfire Risk

Mercury Insurance Launches Programs to Help California Homeowners with Wildfire Risk

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Wildfire season is well underway, with wildfires scorching a record breaking number of acres up and down California, and the peak of the season is yet to come. Mercury Insurance (NYSE: MCY) today announced two new programs the company is launching to help Californians better protect their homes and families if they live in areas prone to wildfires. Homeowners who take one or more steps to either harden their homes against wildfires or live in a community recognized by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA) as a Firewise USA® site will be eligible to receive discounts of up to 18%.  And, homeowners who have a California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan policy are now able to strengthen their protection with Mercury’s new difference-in-conditions endorsement, which fills the gaps in their FAIR Plan coverage.

Mercury Insurance is one of the first companies to offer wildfire mitigation discounts to California homeowners living in the wildland urban interface. Homeowners who take property and community wildfire prevention measures could be eligible to save up to 18% on the wildfire premium portion of their insurance policy.

“We’re in this together, which is why Mercury is engineering solutions to encourage proactive actions that better protect homeowners from wildfires,” said Jane Li, Mercury Insurance’s director of product management. “It’s important for homeowners in these areas to take proactive steps to help shield their property from fire, and it’s just as important for everyone in the community to work together to reduce their shared ignition risks, which could save them money and improve their insurance eligibility.”

The property level discount applies to policies for hardened home structures and landscapes with sufficient defensible space. Installing a class “A” rated roof, using siding made of stucco, metal or

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Canada launches new business rent aid program, expands other coronavirus support

Canada launches new business rent aid program, expands other coronavirus support

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada on Friday announced a round of new and enhanced support for businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including a new rent subsidy program to replace its previous, and much criticized, rent-relief program.

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program will provide direct support to businesses and other organizations that are facing revenue losses, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a news conference. The program will run through June 2021.

The government will also provide “additional, targeted” supports to businesses that are forced by public health order to temporarily close to help curb coronavirus infections, Freeland said.

“As we fight the second wave of COVID-19, public health officials have been imposing new restrictions. That is the right thing to do, but it imposes costs,” Freeland said. “This new targeted support will help businesses get through the lockdowns.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking at the same news conference, said Canada is at a tipping point in the fight against a second wave of the novel coronavirus.

Freeland said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program had been extended to June 2021 and that the Canada Emergency Business Account would be expanded to allow for larger, partially-forgivable loans.

Together, the three programs are expected to cost an additional C$19.6 billion ($14.9 billion) through to December 19, 2020.

Trudeau’s Liberal government said in July that the fiscal 2020-2021 deficit would likely hit C$343.2 billion, mostly due to COVID-19 aid, the largest shortfall since World War Two.

Under the previous rent-relief program, which expired at the end of September, landlords had to apply for a forgivable loan that would cover half of a tenant’s rent. The tenant had to pay a quarter of it and the landlord had to absorb the remainder.

It was budgeted at C$2.97 billion. As of

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SBA Launches New (Even Easier) Forgiveness Application for PPP Loans of $50,000 or Less

SBA Launches New (Even Easier) Forgiveness Application for PPP Loans of $50,000 or Less

SBA Launches New (Even Easier) Forgiveness Application for PPP Loans of $50,000 or Less

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SBA Launches New (Even Easier) Forgiveness Application for PPP Loans of $50,000 or Less

A first look at the new forgiveness application now available to businesses with the smallest Paycheck Protection Program loans.


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The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering to make it even easier to apply for PPP loan forgiveness–but only for the smallest borrowers.

On Thursday, the SBA along with the U.S. Treasury Department issued a new, streamlined loan forgiveness application for businesses with Paycheck Protection Program loans of $50,000 or less. The measure, as outlined in an accompanying final interim rule, further simplifies the loan forgiveness process, following the SBA’s release of a more borrower-friendly “EZ” loan form in June. Businesses have been able to apply for forgiveness since August 10.

“We are committed to making the PPP forgiveness process as simple as possible while also protecting against fraud and misuse of funds,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “We continue to favor additional legislation to further simplify the forgiveness process.”

In addition to requiring fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers, the new form–Form 3508S–does not require borrowers with loans of $50,000 or less to reduce their loan forgiveness calculations if they’ve cut headcount or salaries.

Previously, to get full forgiveness, borrowers of any amount had to maintain headcount through the covered period and at the time of forgiveness. They couldn’t cut employee pay more than 25 percent during the 24-week covered period, either. A safe harbor was granted to employers that were unable to reopen fully or at all during the pandemic, as well as to firms that tried to rehire an

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U.K. Launches Third Job Program This Year to Counter Economic Slowdown

U.K. Launches Third Job Program This Year to Counter Economic Slowdown

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U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (L) in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.

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Faced with the prospect of a massive rise in unemployment by the end of the year, the U.K. government announced on Friday another significant job-support program to supplant the more ambitious one set up earlier this year to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came on the day the Office for National Statistics said that gross domestic product grew 2.1% in August, less than half of what was forecast by a Reuters poll of economists. The U.K. economy remains more than 9% smaller than its pre-pandemic February level, and most of the August bounce was due to the government restaurant-subsidy program, now expired, known as “Eat out to help out.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, just three weeks after announcing his “winter economy plan,” had to change tack once again to adjust his policy to the prospects of a worsening economic situation in the coming months.

Under the new program, the government will pay up to two-thirds, with a cap of £2,100 a month, of the salaries of employees working for businesses forced to close due to the pandemic-related restrictions.

A Treasury source told Reuters that the new wage support measures, to last for six months, will cost hundreds of millions of pounds a month.

“I hope that this provides reassurance and a safety net for people and businesses in advance of what may be a difficult winter,” Sunak said.

Only a week ago, the U.K. chancellor announced a £9 billion program in the form of a “job retention bonus” to be paid to companies who keep their furloughed workers on the payroll until at least February, 2021. The job-furlough program he had announced in March

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