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As loans run out, small businesses face reckoning amid COVID-19 surge
ABC News By DEVIN DWYER and JANET WEINSTEIN, ABC NEWS(WASHINGTON) -- The resurgence of COVID-19 across the country this summer has deepened anxiety for millions of American small business owners who face another imminent cash crunch in their battle to survive a historic pandemic.The government’s $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, first rolled out in April, was supposed to help many businesses and their employees weather the storm. Nearly half of all American workers are employed by a small business.But now many of the nearly 5 million US companies that got loans say the relief money is running out with little...
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Prominent Latino voices call for Goya Foods boycott after CEO praises Trump
Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Goya Foods, the New Jersey-based producer of many canned foods that have become staples in American homes, is facing calls for a boycott from prominent Latino voices after its CEO Robert Unanue lauded President Donald Trump."We are so blessed to have you as our leader," Unaue told Trump on Thursday at their public meeting, part of the president's effort to court Latino supporters through a measure dubbed the "White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative."Trump has previously called Mexican immigrants "rapists" who are "bringing crime" and "bringing drugs"...
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While some PPP beneficiaries have raised eyebrows, most remain secret
Kativ/iStock By SHANNON K. CRAWFORD and CHEYENNE HASLETT, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Kanye West’s fashion brand. Investment firms that manage billions. Businesses tied to the Trump family and owned by prominent lawmakers. The Church of Scientology.The Small Businesses Administration’s (SBA) massive data dump that included the names of over 650,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients revealed no shortage of eyebrow-raising beneficiaries of the taxpayer-funded, potentially forgivable loans. But oversight advocates say they fear it’s just the tip of the iceberg.Earlier this week, the SBA released information on nearly five million loans made through the program, but it withheld identifying information...
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NAACP president: Facebook a 'threat to democracy,' ad boycott isn't dying down soon
TARIK KIZILKAYA/iStock By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP and one of the leaders of the ongoing Facebook ad boycott, called the social media giant a "threat to democracy" and said that they won't back down until the platform is safe for everyone."Facebook is allowing their platform to be used as a gathering point to meet, recruit and plan out harm against communities," Johnson told ABC News. "They've also allowed their platform to be manipulated by a foreign nation and domestic actors to suppress and subvert our voting process and democracy." "That is...
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Starbucks will require masks for customers at all US locations
iStock/Wachiwit (SEATTLE) -- BY: KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC NewsAs cafes, restaurants and businesses continue to navigate the throes of the pandemic under guidance from top health officials, Starbucks announced that all customers will soon be required to wear masks at all of its U.S. locations.The Seattle-based coffee chain announced Thursday that beginning on July 15, it will require "customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all company-owned cafe locations in the U.S.""This decision was based on a growing number of government mandates requiring individuals to wear facial coverings while in public as well as guidance from the CDC and other public...
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West Elm home-goods retailer takes '15% pledge' supporting Black-owned brands
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images By JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In an effort toward creating more retail shelf space for Black-owned brands in stores, Aurora James, a fashion designer and the founder of Brother Vellies, created the "15% pledge" -- which calls on major retailers to commit a minimum of 15% of their shelf to Black-owned businesses.West Elm has become the third company to make the pledge.On Wednesday, 15percentpledge announced that West Elm's participation, "shows impressive leadership in the global design space."With this new commitment, West Elm is pledging through brand collaborations, local shelf space and...
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Another 1.3 million workers filed for unemployment insurance
courtneyk/iStock By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Another 1.3 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Department of Labor said Thursday. While the new jobless claims have leveled off some since peaking at 6.9 million in late March, they remain at historically high levels -- and have been in the millions each week for over three months. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the record for weekly unemployment filings was 695,000 in 1982.The latest data from the DOL indicates that some business are reopening as pandemic restrictions ease, but some 18 million U.S. workers are still receiving unemployment...
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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau abandons payday loan limitations
Pineapple Studio/iStock By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- After a years-long battle, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has rolled back a series of proposed limitations to payday loans in a move advocacy groups call a "grave error" that could potentially trap vulnerable people in debt.The CFPB announced Tuesday that it was rescinding mandatory underwriting provisions -- which essentially require lenders to confirm that borrowers can pay back the loan before issuing it -- framing the move as an effort to "maintain consumer access to credit and competition in the marketplace." "A vibrant and well-functioning financial marketplace is important for consumers...
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36,000 United Airlines employees could face furloughs this fall
iStock/YakobchukOlena (NEW YORK) -- BY: AMANDA MAILE, MINA KAJI, and SAM SWEENEY, ABC NewsUnited Airlines is preparing to furlough up to 36,000 employees -- as much as 45% of its front-line U.S.-based workers -- as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the airline industry.United Airlines said almost half of its U.S.-based workers face the potential job cuts on or shortly after Oct. 1, as the federal requirement under the Payroll Support Program (PSP) prohibiting airlines from involuntary layoffs is set to expire. United currently employs 95,000 people globally."None of the decisions so far have been more difficult as the decisions that we...
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H&M plans to close 170 stores worldwide amid coronavirus pandemic
aprott/iStock By JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- H&M is planning to close 170 stores worldwide after experiencing a drop in sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.After many of the fashion retailer's stores were forced to close due to mandated shutdowns, the company has experienced a 50% drop in sales during the company's first quarter.There were initially plans to close 130, but plans have shifted to increase that number as sales have continued to fall."Covid-19 continues to impact people, communities and companies around the world and I am full of admiration for our employees' commitment, drive and perseverance during this...
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As ad boycott wages on, Facebook civil rights audit reveals a 'long road ahead'
Wachiwit/iStock By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Facebook released the results of its two-year independent civil rights audit on Wednesday, which revealed the platform "has a long road ahead on its civil rights journey."The nearly 90-page audit, led by civil rights expert Laura W. Murphy and Megan Cacace, a partner in the civil rights law firm Relman Colfax, was released a day after Facebook executives met with organizers of an ongoing ad boycott.The meeting did not seem to go well, and ad boycott organizers released a statement shortly after blasting Facebook for delivering "the same old talking points to...
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After barraging an Asian American family with a racist rant, tech CEO apologizes
In a screen grab from a video posted to Instagram, a tech CEO was caught on camera yelling racist taunts at an Asian family at a restaurant in Carmel Valley, Calif., on July 4, 2020. - (Obtained by ABC News) By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News(CARMEL, Calif.) -- A tech industry CEO has apologized after he was caught-on-camera yelling racist remarks at an Asian American family celebrating a birthday at a restaurant in Carmel, California.In video that has since gone viral, a man -- who was later identified as cloud computing company Solid8 CEO Michael Lofthouse -- can be seen smirking...
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