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Economy Is at Risk With Stimulus Off the Table: Live Updates

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Since this Trump rally in Wisconsin in August, job growth has slowed and layoffs have mounted in the absence of new federal stimulus programs.
Credit…Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Here is the situation the U.S. economy faces, with a month to go before Election Day: Job growth is stalling. Layoffs are mounting. And no more help is coming.

American households and businesses have gone two months without the enhanced unemployment benefits, low-interest loans and other programs that helped prop up the economy in the spring. And now, after President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he was cutting off stimulus negotiations until after the election, the wait will go on at least another month — and very likely until the next presidential term starts in 2021.

It could be a dangerous delay.

Already, many furloughs are turning into permanent job losses, and major companies like Disney and Allstate are embarking on new rounds of layoffs. The hotel industry is warning of thousands of closures, and tens of thousands of small businesses are weighing whether to close up shop for good. An estimated one of every seven small businesses in the United States had shut down permanently by the end of August — 850,000 in all — according to data from Womply, a marketing platform. The deeper those wounds, the longer the economy will take to heal.

“The risk to waiting is that we may find ourselves in a place where we’re unable to turn back, we’ll hit a tipping point,” said Karen Dynan, a Harvard economist and Treasury Department official during the Obama administration.

Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, echoed those concerns in a speech on Tuesday, arguing that failing to act quickly carried risks for the economy.

“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” he said. “Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy and holding back wage growth.”

The failure to provide that assistance will ripple through the economy.

“The economy needs another round of fiscal support with aid to households, small and midsized firms and states,” said R. Glenn Hubbard, a Columbia University economist who was chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. “Failing to act will have real economic consequences.”

Stock indexes, which had risen in recent days on signs that negotiations might be making progress, dropped sharply after Mr. Trump’s announcement. Several major Wall Street banks had said in recent days that they would downgrade their growth forecasts if talks stalled.

Mr. Trump may have been listening. In a series of tweets late Tuesday, he urged both houses of Congress to “IMMEDIATELY” revive a lapsed loan program for small businesses and to approve funds for airlines and another round of stimulus checks. It remained unclear if his tweets reflected a willingness to restart negotiations.

The gridlock in Washington is a reversal from the spring, when fear of an imminent economic collapse led Congress to vote overwhelmingly to approve trillions of dollars in aid to households and businesses. The effort was largely successful: Households began spending again, companies began bringing back workers, and a predicted tidal wave of evictions and foreclosures mostly failed to materialize. The unemployment rate, which reached nearly 15 percent in April, fell to 7.9 percent in September.

But most of the aid programs expired over the summer, and in recent weeks economic gains have faltered. Economists across the ideological spectrum agree that the loss of momentum is likely to get worse if more aid doesn’t arrive soon.

“We had a bridge which took us till about September, and now the question is do we complete the bridge or don’t we?” said Raghuram G. Rajan, a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund who is now a professor at the University of Chicago. Without more help, he said, “basically anybody who was on that bridge falls off a cliff.”

  • European stocks fell by mid-morning on Wednesday as investors absorbed the news that more U.S. fiscal stimulus may be unlikely. But futures indicated that Wall Street would open slightly higher, after President Trump tweeted overnight that he wanted to revive some stimulus measures. Asian markets closed little changed.

  • The moves followed a sharp reversal in financial markets Tuesday, after President Trump suddenly announced the end of negotiations with Democrats over a new economic aid package. Mr. Trump later appeared to backtrack and said on Twitter that he would be willing to approve more stimulus checks and spending on programs for airlines and small businesses.

  • On Tuesday the S&P 500 erased its gains and ended 1.4 percent lower after Mr. Trump’s announcement, on Twitter. Shares of airlines and retailers slumped. Other markets were also roiled by the announcement, which came just hours after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell had appealed to lawmakers to do more.

  • Mr. Powell and other economists had been warning for some time that a sustained economic recovery depends on more spending from Washington, and investors had recently begun to grow optimistic that one might be forthcoming after Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin resumed discussions over a potential agreement.

  • The focus on a potential stimulus plan has only intensified as more companies, said they would lay off or furlough workers, and as the number of coronavirus cases began to rise again.

  • Investors will look for clues about what the Fed might do next in the minutes from the central bank’s September policy meeting, which will be published on Wednesday.

  • The concerns aren’t unique to the United States. On Tuesday, the European Central Bank’s chief economist warned that the eurozone might not recover from the pandemic until 2022 and that countries that depended on tourism would suffer the most as infection rates rose again, an asssessment will reinforce expectations that the European Central Bank will take additional measures to stimulate the eurozone economy when its Governing Council meets on Oct. 29.

Amazon sets the rules for digital commerce, and Apple favors its own apps and services on its devices. Facebook holds “firmly entrenched” monopoly power over social networking. Google has maintained its search dominance by grabbing information from third parties without permission to improve search results.

Those are some of the findings from a sweeping report by House lawmakers accusing four of the world’s largest tech companies of abusing their market power. The document, which was released on Tuesday, concludes a 15-month investigation.

Read more of our coverage of the report:

House Lawmakers Condemn Big Tech’s ‘Monopoly Power’

In a 449-page report that was presented by the House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic leadership, lawmakers said the four companies had turned from “scrappy” start-ups into “the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.” The lawmakers said the companies had abused their dominant positions, setting and often dictating prices and rules for commerce, search, advertising, social networking and publishing.

To amend the inequities, the lawmakers recommended restoring competition by effectively breaking up the companies, emboldening the agencies that police market concentration and throwing up hurdles for the companies to acquire start-ups. They also proposed reforming antitrust laws, in the biggest potential shift since the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 created stronger reviews of big mergers.

12 Accusations in the Damning Report on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

Amazon harvests the sales and product data from its marketplace to spot hot-selling items, copy them and offer its own competing products, typically at lower prices.

Apple has used its control over the App Store to punish rivals, including by ranking them lower in search results, restricting how they communicate with customers, and removing them outright from the store.

Facebook has grown so overwhelmingly powerful that internal findings suggest its greatest competition exists within itself.

Google maintained its search monopoly by grabbing information from third parties without permission to improve search results.

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These Are the Core Elements Needed to Successfully Pivot Your Business

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October 19, 2020 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The says that the may be facing its most massive contraction since the Second World War. The massive amount of job cuts in line with the slowing of the US economy has made one fact obvious. Businesses facing this dire situation have had to adapt or face their demise.

Companies looking at changing their models to adapt to the crisis have been using the term “pivoting” extensively. We already know that a pivot is a hinge point that allows you to exert less force to move a heavy object. Inc. notes that, in , it’s a point that a company can leverage to grow itself and explore a new market related to its core product. In essence, it allows a business to develop laterally in the market. Several well-known enterprises have successfully pivoted during the pandemic, demonstrating that it can be done quite successfully once a company has a plan. Extending a business’s capabilities with the aim of long-term profitability and is what has driven so many enterprises to consider pivoting into related markets.

Related: 3 Big Ways Companies Are Pivoting

Enterprises pivoting to adapt

Pivoting successfully relies on seeing that the business has a problem and addressing it head-on. Believe in Banking mentions that changed its business model from being a music provider to being a tastemaker and podcast distributor. Initially, Spotify’s business model depended heavily on free users listening to ads. However, as the pandemic worsened, businesses had less income to devote to an ad budget. As a result, companies like Spotify that relied on that revenue were left out in the cold.

Instead of fighting for an ever-decreasing portion of the ad revenue pie, they decided to shift their focus. The company already had an audio distribution platform. Now it was time to monetize those free users by building original content. In a move that mirrored a few years ago, Spotify started buying up the sole rights to popular podcasts and drawing in users because of this exclusive content. In effect, the company found it’s pivot and shifted gears, without even needing to rethink its business strategy extensively.

Successful small business pivots

Corp Magazine notes that that have been hit by the Covid crisis are also pivoting into the online sphere. Some of these entrepreneurs already had companies that were forced to close their doors. Instead, they decided to their focus to teaching others and giving them an online platform to showcase their goods.

Related: 4 Tips For Pivoting Your Brand in the Current Crisis

These small businesses rely on trade shows, and other in-person meets to sell their products and increase their distribution. Online platforms offer them a chance to share the connections they made before the US government’s economic halt, in the hopes they could help other small businesses thrive. Companies like Moxe that already have an online presence have invested more in promoting their storefront than distribution to real-world locations.

Other small businesses have realized that the need for specific products remains, but getting them is not nearly as easy as they used to be. Smart farmers that have lost access to their primary market of upper-class restaurants can pivot into supplying directly to customers. Restaurants that no longer have customers to serve can either invest in a mobile app provider for delivery or offer their services as a “ghost kitchen.” These are extensible and long-term adaptations that ensure the business still has an income while the pandemic (and the associated economic slowdown) lasts.

The Core elements needed to pivot successfully

When a company intends to pivot, it needs to be aware of three key factors:

1.     Understand a pandemic-fueled trend

Because people have changed how they work, play, and shop, the only way a pivot would be successful is to consider the new trends in these areas. Remote work, along with an increased dependence on technology due to social distancing, provides ample opportunity to businesses who want to find new, exciting ways to capitalize on their market. Companies have shifted to using online storefronts and mobile apps to interact with customers. Those that embrace this new digital lifestyle stand to outpace their competition that is patiently waiting for physical meeting spaces to reopen.

2.     Extend the company’s existing business model

Successful pivoting doesn’t rely on entering a brand new space. Some companies are associated with doing certain things. Prada, for example, is known for making fashionable accessories. If a company needs to be successful in their pivot, they should look at related areas to their primary product. Prada’s new line of designer face masks shows that they leveraged their brand awareness to produce a viable product that appeals to a post-pandemic world.

3.     Pivots must be profitable and sustainable

If a business intends to pivot, it needs to be both profitable and sustainable. The product or service the company offers must preserve and enhance brand value, and encourage customers to buy into the new idea. Over time, the business will be able to switch over from its initial profit generation business model into a new one that’s sustainable over the long term in a Covid-affected world.

Related: The Pivot That Helped This Founder Get Into 10,000 Stores

Getting rid of inflexible businesses

While the economic depression the world will face is a scary prospect for businesses, it also offers a ray of hope. Inflexible companies will be the first ones to fold. Those that can’t adapt to the “new normal” will end up paying the price for building a rigid business model based on the idea that change will never come. The changing world will reward businesses with the foresight and the ability to change how they do business quickly.

Times of crisis tend to favor small businesses that can change their configurations quickly. Larger businesses that have to go through layers of bureaucracy tend to be much slower when they have to change. Pivoting allows a company to redirect itself while maintaining its momentum. During this pandemic, it’s the most effective method of ensuring that a business remains profitable over the long term.

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Ne-Yo Banks on Partnership With New Streaming Music App

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The R&B superstar talks about why he joined forces with LÜM and how it differentiates from the pack.

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October 19, 2020 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Making it in Hollywood requires an entrepreneurial tenacity similar to that of Silicon Valley. Yet while both cities are in California, they’re worlds apart. The music industry is continuously being disrupted by new technologies innovated by entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Instead of swimming against the stream, Grammy-winning R&B star Ne-Yo has decided to jump in and work hands-on with a newly launched music app that’s getting artists paid.

The multi-platinum performer has announced his partnership with LÜM, a streaming and discovery application that enables emerging musicians to grow their fan base and make money with its in-app currency feature called called virtual gifting. It’s a model whereby greater community participation leads to greater rewards, allowing artists to leverage the service as an entrepreneurial tool.

Ne-Yo’s collaboration with LÜM differentiates from, say, Jay-Z’s approach to launching Tidal, which swam upstream by pulling the rap mogul’s music from Spotify (though he later reversed course on that). And it’s been informed by other music-and-tech cautionary tales, such as when U2 had their album pre-installed on all new iPhone 6 devices, to much consternation.

But those were early days. Today, the transition from successful recording artist to tech tycoon has become much more sophisticated. And by linking up with LÜM and its virtual-gifting platform, Ne-Yo has set out to be a leader amidst the hottest trend in technology, cryptocurrency, which is set to disrupt a financial services market that’s expected to reach $26.5 trillion by 2022.

Related: Wyclef On Staying Creative in the Pandemic, and Why He Loves Working With Women

“Tech has come to play a huge role in our lives, sometimes for the better, but sometimes disrupting systems that might have been better off left intact,” Ne-Yo told me in a recent interview just prior to LÜM rolling out its web and Android platforms. “Rather than complain about the challenges we’re facing as artists, it’s important for us to find new opportunities and embrace those tools that can help us rewrite the rules in a way that preserves the arts.” 

Artists can upload their content to the app, where fans can discover artists and circulate music by re-sharing songs with their friends so that the app becomes an ecosystem of digital assets traded and sold with its virtual currency, incentivizing artists to earn income. “LÜM is one of those rare tools — it’s totally changing the music landscape for artists who are struggling to make an income,” Ne-Yo added. “It’s laying the groundwork for independent artists and fans alike to see what the future of music can look like for them.”

LÜM’s virtual-gifting service is available without a minimum threshold of followers or video views. That’s in contrast to platforms like TikTok that maintain high thresholds, which makes this revenue channel unavailable to newly starting out/up-and-coming artists. As LÜM co-founder and CEO chimed in during our interview, “The virtual gifting feature has enabled us to provide tens of thousands of independent creators a new way to look at their careers — to help them build stronger relationships, network, collaborate and make real money.”

Related: Jermaine Dupri Talks New Role With The Beet and a Lifetime of Entrepreneurial Inspirations

Time will tell if LÜM meets Ne-Yo’s expectations, but the gambit is further proof that being an artist and an entrepreneur are two sides of the same coin.

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The Association of Entrepreneurs of Mexico will hold its annual summit on October 22

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The event will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, academics and representatives of the Senate and the Federal Government.

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October 19, 2020 4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Next Thursday, October 22, the third Summit of Entrepreneurs of the Association of Entrepreneurs of Mexico (ASEM) will be held and this time they invite the country’s entrepreneurs to participate for free.

“Entrepreneurs are founders of companies that today are the country’s main employer and the engine of the economy. To the extent that we create conditions to promote entrepreneurship, we will be able to trigger the creation of more jobs, attract investment and contribute to GDP growth to accelerate economic recovery, ”says Jorge Corral, executive director of ASEM.

Each year, this summit will focus on the challenges that COVID-19 put to companies, the future of entrepreneurship and generating alternatives and support for the sector.

ASEM invites to attend the Summit all entrepreneurs and businessmen in the country, investors, representatives of accelerators, incubators and other entities that support entrepreneurship, and those who are considering undertaking. The transmission will begin at 6:00 p.m. through the WebinarJam platform. It will be a free event and those interested can register at this link .

The event will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, as well as representatives from the financial sector, academia, the Senate and the Federal Government. It will have three main activities:

  • Panel “financing alternatives for entrepreneurs”. As it is one of the priority issues for entrepreneurship, the current context of access to financing will be addressed, both for commercial banking and fintech alternatives, as well as expectations in the short and medium term and the actions that must be implemented from the beginning. public and private sector to guarantee greater access to financing.
  • Presentations of entrepreneurs overcoming the changes. Leading entrepreneurs from different industries will share how they have reinvented themselves and managed to grow in the current context.
  • Panel “programs and legislation for the economic reactivation of companies”. It will include talks with entrepreneurs, academics and representatives of the government and the Senate, since they are an important axis for economic reactivation through reforms or creation of laws and the implementation of programs. Best practices in these matters will also be shared globally.

Among the panelists and speakers will be Héctor Sepúlveda, co-founder of Mountain Nazca and investor in Kavak, the first Mexican startup valued at more than 1,000 million dollars; Dr. Ana Bárbara Mungaray, head of the Productive Development Unit of the Ministry of Economy; Ricardo Weder, founder of Jüsto; Senator Indira Kempis, member of the Economy Commission and of the Senate pro-entrepreneurship bench; Fernando Padilla, national president of ASOFOM; Diana Molina, Stripe’s Strategic Alliances Leader for Latin America; and Luis Ricardo Alvarez, executive director of Santander PYME, among others.

The purpose of having this plurality of voices is that the talks do not remain only in a conversation, but that they generate commitments and proposals to improve the environment in which business is undertaken and done in the country.

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