January 28, 2021

Last year, the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5 percent as Americans had their lives turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. This made 2020 the worst year for growth since 1946 when the economy contracted by more than 11 percent in the immediate aftermath of World War II. It’s also the first time since 2009 that GDP has contracted over the course of an entire year, although the economy did begin to recover in the latter half of 2020.

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October 27, 2020

The stock market plunged in March as the coronavirus emerged in the U.S. but eventually recovered as some businesses reopened and consumers received economic relief. With cases once again on the rise, however, the combination of potential closings and a lack of another stimulus package caused the Dow to plummet by 650 points on Monday. “Financial markets are getting a reality check, as investors come to terms with the failure of Congress to agree to a pre-election stimulus package and Continue reading

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October 8, 2020

According to the Brookings Institution, more than 400,000 small businesses have closed during the pandemic while hundreds of thousands more remain at high risk of ceasing operations. But while many small companies have struggled, large corporations in the tech and telecommunications industries have never been better. In fact, experts fear that big companies like Amazon and AT&T could consolidate on an enormous scale over the next six months as they buy bankrupt businesses at fire sale prices.

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August 13, 2020

In recent years, banks across the country have either phased out coin services or started charging fees for counting change. At Community State Bank in southeastern Wisconsin, for instance, the institution usually charges non-customers a 10 percent service fee for coin counting. But that certainly wasn’t the case a few weeks ago when Community State Bank had to beg people to bring in spare change to offset a coin shortage that has developed during the pandemic. 

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June 11, 2020

Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. This historically high number increased by another 1.5 million last week as many people continue to struggle to make ends meet. Although the gradual reopening of businesses has sent some back to work, nearly 21 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits. All together, more than 44 million people have applied for unemployment over the course of the pandemic. 

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April 28, 2020

Last week, legislators approved of another round of small business loans after funding failed to reach thousands of companies the first time. Unfortunately, many of these desperate businesses are encountering the same problems as they did a few weeks ago. Shortly after going online on Monday, the Small Business Administration’s electronic loan portal crashed due to high demand. “The SBA’s systems were not designed to and are not capable of handling the volume of loans banks processed over the last Continue reading

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April 24, 2020

For nearly two months, millions of Americans have been shut inside their homes in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Many people have turned to video games as a way to pass the time, and one of the most popular titles of the last few weeks has been Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Players of the Nintendo Switch title move into their own island where they work and hunt for treasure all in an effort to buy things Continue reading

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April 21, 2020

A few weeks ago, legislators approved a $2 trillion stimulus package that set aside $349 billion for small businesses that have drastically altered operations during the pandemic. After a poor rollout left many companies unable to petition for relief, however, the fund dried up last weekend with thousands of businesses still in need of loans. What’s more, among the companies that received relief included major chains with thousands of employees and numerous locations across the country.

For example, the Continue reading

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April 7, 2020

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused countless restaurants and stores across the country to alter their services or close entirely, some for as long as a month so far. This stretch of downtime has been devastating for many small businesses that usually get by on week-to-week sales. At Old Town Pizza & Brewing in Portland, Oregon, owner Adam Milne had to lay off two-thirds of his staff as the brewpub transitioned into carry-out only service. In the process he racked Continue reading

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February 18, 2020

Rather than worry about having cash on hand, many American consumers now prefer to use credit or debit cards as their preferred methods of payment. Companies are usually happy to oblige cashless customers since cards are easy to process and keep busy lines moving. In fact, a number of retailers and restaurants across the country have switched to cashless payment models that rely entirely on cards or mobile apps. According to consumer advocates and lawmakers, however, these businesses could be Continue reading

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