On the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic the number of urgent care centers in the United States had swelled to more than 9,000 facilities, an increase of 58 percent in just six years as Americans looked for alternative care options between visits to their primary doctor and trips to the emergency room.
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Has there ever been a harder time for business owners to make decisions than right now?
That can certainly be the perception from Wall Street to Main Street with a confluence of factors leading to decision paralysis including:
“2022 is shaping up to be one of the hardest years ever to run a company – even harder than 2020, when the pandemic first hit, corporate leaders and analysts tell us,” wrote Emily Peck and Erica Pandey, this month, in Axios.
With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granting full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 23, the pressure is on businesses to mandate their employees receive a coronavirus shot.
Fox Business reported that President Joe Biden said after the approval: “Today I’m calling on more companies … in the private sector to step up the vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people. If you’re a business leader, a non-profit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that … do what I did last month, requiring employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”
Any hope that the COVID-19 pandemic would be fading this summer, allowing for a return to “business as usual” in the fall, has been dealt a severe blow by the highly transmissible Delta variant and rising coronavirus cases in all 50 states.
What some are calling a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections may have business owners feeling like they are on an emotional rollercoaster they wish they could get off of as they are confronted with tough choices on vaccine mandates and return to office policies.
Decades from now when we look back at the evolution of the workplace, we will likely talk about events in terms of B.C. (Before COVID-19) and A.P. (After Pandemic).
The coronavirus crisis has been a defining moment in how we accomplish work, with most now agreeing that what comes after the pandemic for the workforce and workplace will not be the same as before COVID-19 swept the world by surprise.
The American economy proved in 2020 that certain sectors could operate on a “Work from Home (WFH)” basis for an extended period, but neither management nor employees were keen to continue the experiment permanently.
With COVID-19 vaccines now open to Americans of all ages, many companies are contemplating or transitioning their workforce to the office, but a return to a pre-pandemic status quo workday is not likely.
The Internal Revenue Service is urging employers to take advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), a refundable tax credit, which has been extended and increased through the first six months of 2021.
The credit, designed to aid employers that choose to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic, was part of the CARES Act and originally set to expire at the end of 2020.
The U.S. Small Business Administration re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) earlier this month, making nearly $300 billion in forgivable loans available to those small businesses that did not receive a PPP loan last year, as well as a second draw for certain existing PPP borrowers.
Those smoke signals coming from your HR department in 2020 might have been a cry for help during the COVID-19 pandemic or the staff simply burning the company HR handbook. Rest assured your HR handbook is still needed, maybe more than ever in uncertain times, but since March the coronavirus crisis has made a mockery out of “by the book”.
The best HR policies in 2020 were likely found on digital whiteboards and not in binders, because overnight HR had to embrace a new normal which included remote recruiting and onboarding for almost all nonessential workers.