Many organizations have feared a work-from-home model for years, worrying about the risks that come with more distractions, less accountability, and less productivity for employees, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to adopt work-from-home procedures despite their apprehension. However, many have found their fears put at ease—this actually works. Not only do employees have more free time, lending way to better quality of life, and get to work in sweatpants, but they’re doing it with just as much, if not more, productivity. Many predict that working from home is here to stay.
It has been several days since the second round of PPP loan processing began. Bankers were hoping for a smoother ride this go-around, but many of the same problems that plagued the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program are still on the scene in round two.
This school year, the celebrations are limited, but the appreciation has exponentially increased as parents and caregivers across the nation have walked a mile in the shoes of a teacher. Between Zoom meetings, AMI packets, communications with parents, and supporting and caring for students, teachers are still working hard in the background, supporting their students and families as much as ever.
The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index has dropped by 30 percent since February, from 101 down to 71.8—the lowest it’s been since December 2011. Unemployment is at its highest since the Great Depression, and many families and businesses are already unable to pay their rent or mortgage among other expenses. Many citizens and experts have expressed fear that America might experience another depression. “We have never seen anything like this," says Princeton University professor and economist Alan Blinder regarding the recent number of unemployment claims. “This looks likely to be deep enough to qualify as a depression."
On Monday (April 20th) oil prices reached below zero for the first time ever at negative $37 a barrel, meaning traders were paying money to get people to take oil for the month of May. A recent article from NPR says, “It’s a sign of just how imbalanced the global oil markets are.”
Just thirteen days after its launch, the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program fund (part of the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package) had exhausted all funds. There have been talks of more funding coming, but this has left questions circulating like: Are more funds coming? How much more? When?
There are two legitimate concerns when thinking about reopening the country: the physical health and well-being of citizens and the economic health and well-being of citizens. President Trump’s initial hope to see the country reopened by Easter was met with a lot of backlash from healthcare professionals and economists that said it was too soon and would wind up doing more harm than good. While obviously that date has come and gone with no uplifting of shelter-in-place and other social distancing orders, the push to reopen sooner than later is not unfounded. Yesterday, the president announced the ‘Opening Up America Again’ plan aiming for May 1st.
Coronavirus relief stimulus checks have begun dispersing, and word has been circulating about giving out even more. These cash payments are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act totaling $2,000,000,000,000.00. The act is broken down for multiple moving parts of this pandemic: stimulus checks, extra unemployment, loans for corporations and small businesses, health care, etc. However, this $2 trillion number has still left many reeling, wondering where this money is coming from or if this will cause inflation.
The coronavirus pandemic may not be the first or worst pandemic in American History, but it is certainly impactful. These times have brought about unique challenges for people of all ages and occupations.
April is Financial Literacy Month! This year, many of us have unique opportunities to participate in Financial Literacy Month. As schools around the globe are shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents and caregivers have suddenly found themselves largely taking on the role of their children’s educators. Many are searching for new, exciting, and educational resources for children to do with their newfound free time.