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Data: Alignable; Chart: Axios Visuals

Small business owners and employees have been less sanguine about a delay in fiscal spending than stock traders.

Driving the news: A new survey from Alignable finds that many small businesses are growing more worried about "a severe cash crunch," with 42% saying they could collapse by the end of the fourth quarter.

  • Small business owners' top concern was that they would completely run out of financial reserves. 
  • 45% of all small businesses have earned 50% or less of their pre-pandemic revenue — eight months into the pandemic.
  • When asked what would help them the most right now, 35% said reducing the COVID-19 case levels to increase consumer confidence.

Heads up: Goldman Sachs economists estimate that winter weather will reduce total restaurant spending by 3%–4% and consumption by 0.2 percentage points.

  • This translates to a 0.3 percentage point hit to real GDP growth in Q4 and a 0.1 percentage point hit in Q1 next year, followed by a rebound as temperatures rise.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The record-breaking stimulus

Data: Axios Research; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The latest COVID-19 relief package is much smaller than most Democrats wanted, and is less than half the size of the CARES Act that was passed earlier this year.

Yes, but: Put the two together, and the amount of stimulus passed by Congress in 2020 would dwarf any previous U.S. government spending program — even the New Deal.

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.

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