Here’s What Happened in the World of Small Business in March 2021

Here are five things that happened this past month that affect your small business.

1) The American Rescue Plan was signed into law and includes various provisions for small businesses.

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. While parts of the bill such as stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits got the most attention, there’s a lot of funding allocated to small business assistance as well – about $50 billion, in addition to more than $600 billion that’s been allocated in the previous bills. (Source: Vox)

Why this is important for your business:
If your business is still hurting financially due to the pandemic, there are several options for grants and loans that you can now apply for.

2) Amazon workers at an Alabama warehouse are voting whether to unionize or not.

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama “could soon decide the future of a $1.5 trillion tech giant and its 560,000 employees worldwide.” A vote among the 6000 warehouse workers is underway and scheduled to finish on March 29th. Amazon, a historically anti-union company, has been fighting hard to convince their employees to vote ‘no’ on the measure. (Source: Business Insider)

Why this is important for your business:
No matter your views on organized labor, this union push – if successful – could be the catalyst for many more groups to unionize across the US, no matter the size or power of their employer. That’s worth paying attention to.

3) President Biden’s administration is continuing the conversation around changing the corporate income tax.

The Biden administration and some members of Congress have proposed changes to the corporate income tax that would raise revenue for other spending programs and repeal the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in late 2017. These include raising the rate from 21 percent to 28 percent and imposing a 15 percent minimum tax on the book income of large corporations. As of now, these are still just proposals, but we’re keeping an eye on developments. (Source: Tax Foundation)

Why this is important for your business:
This could affect your tax rate in the future.

4) The travel industry is making a comeback.

Travel was – unsurprisingly – one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic. As borders closed, flights got canceled, and international arrivals plummeted, many travel-related businesses were left reeling. Now, there are signs the industry is “roaring back,” according to Expedia CEO Peter Kern. (Source: CNN Business)

Why this is important for your business:
If your business is in any way affected by travel and tourism – whether that be because of the type of business you run or due to your own business-related travel – this could mean we’re on our way back to some semblance of normalcy.

5) Businesses can now use the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act and the American Rescue Plan expanded the ERC through the end of the year and “increased the refundable and advanceable credit to $7,000 per employee for two quarters each or up to $14,000.” The legislation also fixed a previous issue to make it possible for employers to take advantage of both the ERC and PPP in 2021. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:
Previously, companies who applied for and received funds from the PPP could not then take advantage of the ERC, so many chose to apply for PPP funding and forego the credit. Now, you are allowed to use both. The one caveat: “Funds from both programs cannot be used on the same payroll period.”

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