Small BusinessSmall Business NewsSmall Business News | SBA launches holiday campaign, Fed reveals interest rate...

Small Business News | SBA launches holiday campaign, Fed reveals interest rate plans, new consumer sentiment survey

This week, on ASBN Small Business News, anchor Shyann Malone brings you up to speed on the latest tools and resources now available for small to medium-sized businesses.

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The Small Business Administration has launched a new campaign to drive more holiday shopping traffic to local brands.
U.S. SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman

Earlier in December, Administrator Isabel Casillas Huzman, Head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced the SBA’s first-ever “season of small business” campaign. The campaign encourages all Americans to shop local, dine small, and support the small businesses that power the economy during the holiday season, which plays a critical role in the prosperity of local, independently-owned businesses and brands. Read Here

The Federal Reserve has decided to hold interest rates steady for the third time, while announcing plans to cut rates in 2024.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell

The Federal Reserve announced during a post-meeting media conference that it plans to keep interest rates stable while aiming to reduce them three times in 2024. In 2022, the Fed began increasing interest rates to slow down the economy, but it’s unlikely that this approach will continue. The prospect of potential rate cuts next year is good news for small businesses, as rising interest rates have previously made it challenging for entrepreneurs to obtain capital. Read Here

Consumers and entrepreneurs differed on the economy in separate monthly reports but agreed that inflation remains a challenge.Consumers expect inflation to be at 3.1% in a year, according to the latest Consumer Sentiment Survey by the University of Michigan. This projection is a decrease from November’s estimate of 4.5%. The reading for December is the lowest since March 2021, and it is only slightly above the range of 2.3% to 3% observed in the two years before the pandemic. Despite the labor market cooling off, jobs are still being added and inflation is slowing. As a result, markets have become more optimistic that inflation can decline to the Fed’s 2% target without the economy going into recession. Read Here

The IRS is rejecting more than 20,000 applicants for the employee retention credit or ERC after a surge of fraudulent claims in mid-2023.The IRS is cracking down on fraudulent claims for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), rejecting over 20,000 applications amidst a surge of wrongful claims. Applicants denied the credit will receive a letter 105 c, offering an appeal process. Originally introduced in 2020 to help businesses retain staff during the pandemic, the ERC is still available for eligible companies via amended tax returns. However, a rise in fraudulent claims has prompted the IRS to halt ERC processing and introduce measures for businesses to withdraw their claims to avoid penalties. Read Here

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Anna Delvillar is the editorial coordinator and a staff writer at ASBN. She graduated with a B.A. in English Composition from Georgia State University and has five years of experience developing content strategy and writing for automotive, tech, and small business media.

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