Weekly Update – November 4th 2021

As the pandemic continues, many people are having a harder time making small daily decisions such as what to wear or what to have for lunch. According to a recent survey by the Harris Poll, nearly a third of adults were still so stressed by the pandemic that small decisions were difficult. Millennials and parents with children under 18 are having the hardest time with decisions. The combination of safety precautions,…  Read more

Weekly Update – October 28th 2021

On November 8, the U.S. will open borders to foreign travelers, marking a new and exciting stage in the pandemic. The Delta variant surge seems to be easing, vaccinations and boosters are available to more people, and mask mandates are being dropped. Case counts appear to be decreasing, and hospitalizations are declining in most parts of the country. However, worker shortages – particularly in restaurants – persist as a reminder that…  Read more

Weekly Update – October 21st 2021

The pandemic may change business travel as we know it forever. The Global Business Travel Association reported a nearly 90% drop in business travel last spring, as businesses were forced to conduct business via video chat software like Zoom or Webex.  While travel is increasing compared to a year ago, it is still sharply down from pre-pandemic levels. Post-pandemic, virtual business meetings may continue to be the norm, but those special…  Read more

Weekly Update – October 14th 2021

Global supply chain delays have become so bad that the biggest U.S. retailers are chartering their own cargo ships to stock shelves this holiday season. Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Target are among companies that are paying the additional expense to mitigate holiday disruptions. While the smaller ships these companies will use are far more expensive than the larger ones, they have the advantage of the ability to dock at smaller, less…  Read more

Weekly Update – October 7th 2021

What does it cost to be hospitalized for COVID-19? A study by The Wall Street Journal found the cost can vary by tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the hospital and the insurance policy. While most insurers waived out-of-pocket costs for patients for most of the pandemic, many patients are now receiving bills for hospital stays, which can depend on rates negotiated between hospitals and insurers. For example, at one…  Read more

Weekly Update – September 30th 2021

This recent article in the Washington Post has highlighted (please sing as you read) where have all the employees gone…to the legal cannabis industry,  which has been absorbing furloughed, laid-off, and disenchanted retail and restaurant workers at a rapid pace throughout the pandemic. An estimated 321,000 people in the U.S. work in the industry, more than work as dentists, paramedics, or electrical engineers. Burnout, overwork, and challenges with unhappy customers in retail during…  Read more

Weekly Update – September 23rd 2021

Even before the pandemic, some restaurant owners were challenging the model of paying servers only $2.13 an hour and depending on tips from customers to make them whole. Today, as restaurants and bars struggle to find enough workers to stay open, a few are making further changes to their business model. Some are raising wages and offering sign-on bonuses. Others are adding service charges to every bill, and others are simply…  Read more

Weekly Update – September 16th 2021

The recent announcement by the Biden administration of a plan that mandates COVID vaccinations or weekly testing has drawn both phrase and critizim from the business community.   Some business leaders applaud the plan as a way to keep the surge in COVID cases from hurting the economy, although smaller employers may find the mandate difficult to enforce. Expanding testing may not be possible unless capacity is also significantly increased. Some business leaders…  Read more

Weekly Update – September 9th 2021

Thanks to tight supply chains and logistics in the developed world, many people have grown accustomed to receiving whatever they ordered promptly and predictably. That era may be over, as shortages are likely to continue. Toyota will be slashing production of cars by 40% in the face of a continuing chip shortage. It may be another year – or two – before shortages in sectors from construction to medical testing to…  Read more

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