VizyPay Launches RUSH Loyalty Program %%sep%% %%sitename%%

VizyPay Launches RUSH Loyalty Program %%sep%% %%sitename%%


Most small businesses are struggling to increase their sales amid the coronavirus crisis. Is your business also finding it difficult to attract customers these days? If yes, then the latest offering from VizyPay can help you out.

VizyPay, a leading player in the payment processing industry, recently launched its first customer loyalty program and online ordering system. The company named it RUSH, and the solution is available immediately for businesses.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit 80% of small businesses. Most businesses have been experiencing supply chain disruption, an increase in supply cost, and lower demand for products/services now.

RUSH, the newly launched customer loyalty program from VizyPay, can help small businesses grow sales amid the Covid-19 situation.



VizyPay RUSH Loyalty Program

RUSH is available for VizyPay clients as an opt-into service for a flat monthly fee. And small businesses can easily integrate it into VizyPay’s payment processing software.

RUSH can help small businesses in the following ways:

Customer Loyalty Program

Once you’re in, customers will have an option to sign up for the loyalty program after their transactions are processed. If the customers sign on, they will start receiving incentives based on their transactions.

What’s more, small businesses can also send offer/discount notifications to their customers with the help of RUSH. So you can easily let your customers know about happy hours, instant discounts, and more to increase your sales.

Customer Acquisition

It goes without saying that positive reviews are important for small businesses.

The RUSH loyalty program also helps businesses to encourage their customers to leave reviews once they have made a purchase.

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Also, small businesses can increases sales through existing customers with the program’s automated viral friend referral system.

Austin Mac Nab, CEO and co-founder of VizyPay, said in a prepared statement, “Now more than ever, we recognize that our clients need a better system to stay in touch with their customers and motivate them to shop,”

“Businesses were forced to pivot to a digital-first approach when brick and mortar locations closed during COVID-19, and RUSH helps them encourage customers to come back and shop with them,” he continued.

Online Ordering

RUSH also enables businesses to create a fully branded app, which customers can use to place orders online.

The coronavirus crisis has changed the ways businesses operate. With incoming cash decreasing, small businesses are forced to explore new methods to grow sales.

“We named this initiative RUSH as a nod to the industry term of a ‘rush’ when a business is busy,”

“With the program we’re aiming to give our clients additional ways to drive more customers to their businesses and increase their rush periods,” Mr. Austin Mac Nab went on to say.

Signing up for the RUSH loyalty program will get you access to a marketing portal. Also, you will have a customer-facing tablet, a branded mobile app, and branded key tags to go ahead with your customer loyalty program.

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Kentucky Ranks as the Most Connected State on Social Media

Kentucky Ranks as the Most Connected State on Social Media


Kentucky is the most connected state on social media.

You read that right … Kentucky.

That’s the result of a recent survey of social media users by Teneo. To find the most connected state, Teneo surveyed hundreds of users and determined the average number of friends, followers, and connections on 6 leading social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and TikTok.



Teneo Survey: Kentucky is the Most Connected State on Social Media

So, Teneo asked survey participants how many connections they have on all of these big networks. Kentucky users averaged the most. And another bluegrass state, Tennessee, ranked second. California, the state you may have presumed would top this list, came in third.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 most connected states across all the big social media sites. The average amount of connections is in parentheses):

  1. Kentucky (2,368)
  2. Tennessee (2,280)
  3. California (2,135)
  4. Texas (1,739)
  5. Indiana (1,575)
  6. Alabama (1,574)
  7. North Carolina (1,500)
  8. Nevada (1,472)
  9. New York (1,456)
  10. South Carolina (1,410)

It may be presumptive to think people living in states with higher populations would have more social media connections. However, this survey shows that while those states — California, Texas, and New York — do have people with a lot of social media connections, social media use is popular in less populous areas, too.

A small business owner should look at this and realize that holding back on a social media promotion campaign — whether free or paid — may not be wise. Thinking that your customers aren’t on a particular site may be a mistake.

Tennessee is the Instagram Capital of the U.S.

The Teneo survey dug a little deeper and looked at which social media sites are most popular in individual states. And it broke down the average number of connections by state and site.

California residents have the most connections on Facebook in the U.S., the survey found. The average Californian has 722 connections on Facebook, the most in America.

Neighboring Oregon favors Twitter. The average Oregonian has 785 followers on Twitter.

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Kentucky favors TikTok. Instagram reigns in Tennessee. And Snapchat is really popular in Indiana. In Massachusetts, LinkedIn users there have the most connections in the U.S.

Check out this graphic from Teneo for more info:

most socially connected infographic

Social Media and the Generations

The survey also found out what sites were most popular among the generations.

For instance, the generation with the most connections on Facebook is Generation X. A total of nearly 9% of GenX survey respondents said they have most of their connections on Facebook.

The oldest generation surveyed by Teneo, Gen X, also has the most connections on LinkedIn.

Those in the Millennial generation prefer Twitter. That’s where most of their connections are active.

The youngest generation, Generation Z, is more connected on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

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57% of Companies Offering Mental and Emotional Support Since Pandemic Started

57% of Companies Offering Mental and Emotional Support Since Pandemic Started


Almost 40% of employees say they feel less productive since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. To help lift wellbeing and productivity, 57% of employers now offer mental or emotional support for employees.

These changing workplace behaviors were unveiled by research by Clutch, specialists in B2B research, ratings, and reviews.

In its ‘How Employee Health is Affected by Covid-19 Work Environment Changes’ report, Clutch surveyed 301 US workers. It found that during the pandemic, businesses are likelier to provide access to emotional health support such as virtual therapy.



Business More Likely to Provide Emotional Support

Since the pandemic was announced in March 2020, the US workforce has gone increasingly remote. More than half of business owners say they will continue to work remotely after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

However, remote working is not without its challenges, and the changing working environment can have a negative affect employees’ mental and emotional health.

Within the challenging business environment, it’s more important than ever for businesses to remain productive. To help companies overcome issues related to mental and emotional health and productivity, help is being offered to employees.

Investing Time in Remote Workers

David Morneau, co-founder of inBeat, a micro-influencer marketing agency, confirms the importance of investing time into the wellbeing of remote employees. Commenting in Clutch’s report, Morneau said:

“I invest time in one-on-one conversations with each of my team members at least three times a week. I listen, empathize, and offer solutions. Motivated employees are always more productive.”

Flexible Scheduling and Advice on Remote Work

Out of the 57% of employees receiving additional mental and emotional support from their employer during the pandemic, 28% are receiving flexible scheduling. The report found that advice on remote work was another common support feature of the current climate, with 23% receiving support with remote work.

Staff Taking Steps to Improve Their Mental Health

Clutch’s research also found that employees are taking steps to improve their mental health during these difficult and unchartered times. 24% of recipients said they are contacting friends and family more frequently. The same figure said they take regular breaks throughout the workday.

More than half (51%) say their current working situation has not affected their feelings about continuing to work for their employer.

With around 4 in 10 of employees saying they feel less productive during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever businesses take steps to boost employee morale, motivation, and productivity.

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Reminding Remote Employees of their Productivity

The report highlights concern that employees feel less productive because they are not receiving sufficient support and feedback.

Making efforts to remind employees of their productivity can be an affective way of helping remote workers achieve greater efficiency and output. One such step could be scheduling regular meetings designed to help team members recap on tasks and achievements. Another could be maintaining ‘small talk’ and typical office conversation via remote messaging and other remote communication. Complimenting employees for their work can also go a long way in boosting productivity.

Prioritizing 1:1 meetings with remote staff is another measure highlighted in Clutch’s report that can have an impact on nurturing productivity.

Flexible Schedules and Increased Time Off

According to Clutch’s research, businesses are offering employees more flexible schedules and increased time off to help keep workers mentally strong.

28% of those surveyed said they can work a flexible schedule. 23% said they receive advice about remote work, and 21% have access to professional counselling or therapy.

14% of the interviewees said they have had increased time off or sick leave during the pandemic.

Virtual Events

Holding virtual events can be an effective way to help remote workers maintain strong mental health and increase productivity.

Clutch’s survey found that 11% of workers have been involved in virtual social or community events in recent weeks.

The take-away messages of the report are that with some effort including implementing some simple strategies, businesses can help employees navigate the unique challenges of remote working. By maintaining strong mental health and keeping morale and motivation levels high, remote teams can be in a much better position to work productively.

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In the News – Small Business Pandemic Recovery Continues, Employees Happy

In the News – Small Business Pandemic Recovery Continues, Employees Happy


Since March – that’s more than 3 months ago now – we’ve dealt with a lot of troubling news for small business (and big business, too).

But it appears we may be seeing some positive changes.

Just this week, we learned of several developments that indicate businesses are ready to get back to work and most importantly, so are employees, including yours.

First, it’s the fact that jobs are coming back. That’s good for workers who worried about their futures. And of course, it’s great news for companies like your small business.

In the latest ADP Small Business Report, small businesses across the country added nearly 1 million jobs to the US economy between May and June. Now, there’s still work to do. At the height of the pandemic, small businesses lost more than 6 million jobs. But for 2 straight months, ADP reports job gains for small business. And that’s certainly good news.

For more on this, check out: Small Business Adds Close to 1 Million Jobs from May to June, ADP Reports

Secondly, there’s a new report from Zoho which shows those employees who are back to work and others waiting to come back are actually happy with the work they do. Zoho found about two-thirds of employees are satisfied with the work they do.

Check out more details from that survey: Your Employees May Be Happier Than You Think, Per Zoho Study

There are other signs that small businesses are bouncing back from the pandemic response and ready to get back to work. You can check out those details and more in our weekly small business news roundup:



Small Business News Headlines – Week Ending July 10, 2020

The Best Freelance Side Gigs for Professionals

Since the start of the pandemic, some freelancers have lost significant amounts of work. And small businesses that were forced closed may be struggling to get back on their feet. For each, finding a side gig in another field or hiring a freelancer may be the way to slowly rebuild a business.

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Businesses in These Cities Haven’t Felt the COVID Pandemic Too Hard

The pandemic impacted businesses of all sizes across the country. But companies in some cities didn’t bear the brunt of the business shutdown orders as much as others. LendingTree recently analyzed data to see what American cities saw the least negative impact as a result of the pandemic response.

Only 12% of Salespeople Believe Automation Will Take Their Job

Automation is making a huge impact on small businesses and the workforce as a whole. But salespeople aren’t generally concerned about losing jobs to automation. A recent report on the state of retail sales from Raydiant, a digital signage platform for businesses, found that only 12% of retail sales professionals believe that their jobs will be taken by robots in the coming years.

45% More Productive Working at the Office, Not Home

Office productivity vs. home productivity. Right now, there’s a dilemma facing many employers. Where are your employees at their best? Almost half (45%) of workers say they are more productive working in an office than remotely. The sentiment to work more productively in an office comes at a time when an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.

PPP Loan Application Deadline Extended to August 8

If you didn’t complete an application for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan before the previous deadline, you’re in luck. On July 4, President Donald Trump extended the deadline for PPP loan applications for more than another month. The new deadline for PPP loan applications is August 8.

34% Working from Home Have Lockdown Lethargy

Almost one-third of one country’s workforce is currently suffering from lockdown lethargy. A new survey of UK employees found 34% suffering from a lull in production brought on by weariness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic response. While this survey looked at British employees, we presume the feeling is likely mutual in the US.

New Editor X from Wix Improves Web Design Capabilities

Wix.com, a leading website creator, has launched a new innovative website creation platform, Editor X. Editor X is designed to empower web designers, professionals, and agencies to create exceptional websites. The product was previously available as a closed beta program and is now available to the public.

How Effective is Your Customer Communication During the Pandemic?

During this time of unprecedented change, communication with your customers is critical. Most businesses will benefit by interacting  with their customers more not less. In the process, your customers will have more questions about your service and any issues they face now will be even more time sensitive.

Count Me In Founder Reignites Non-profit to Fund Women Owned Small Business

Count Me In, the national non-profit founded to help women entrepreneurs turn micro-businesses into million-dollar enterprises, is undergoing a revival in the wake of COVID-19. Here’s what women business owners should know about the organization, its history, and the opportunities that are currently available.

What Are the Business Credit Bureaus?

Did you know there are more than just the big 3 credit reporting agencies for businesses? Check out our report on these companies and how to get a credit report on your small business.

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The Best Freelance Side Gigs for Professionals

The Best Freelance Side Gigs for Professionals


Since the start of the pandemic, some freelancers have lost significant amounts of work.

And small businesses that were forced closed may be struggling to get back on their feet.

For each, finding a side gig in another field or hiring a freelancer may be the way to slowly rebuild a business.

To help workers, business owners and freelancers that may find themselves out of work or struggling with cash flow, FlexJobs, a leading portal for flexible jobs openings, has identified the best 25 freelance side jobs for working professionals.



FlexJobs Report – The 25 Best Freelance Jobs for Working Professionals

Sarah Sutton, CEO and Founder of FlexJobs, says, “When the market is uncertain or struggling, companies often turn to freelancers as a more economical solution to build up their staff, especially when it’s not financially possible for them to take on regular employees.

“If the past is any indicator, it is likely that a healthy amount of freelance jobs will continue to be available across industries and career levels, despite the economic downturn,” Sutton continued.

Check out the following 25 freelance side jobs that can help small business owners, freelancers and anyone out of work to boost their income.

Bookkeeper

Organizing businesses’ financial transactions, bookkeepers are always in demand. This sought-after profession can be carried out remotely so social distancing requirements are met.

Career Coach

The disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to people questioning their careers and thinking about embarking on new ones. Hence career coaches, which help people identify and achieve their career goals, could be in hot demand.

Curriculum Writer

With more and more teaching being carried out online, there is a growing demand for quality educational resources. Curriculum writers that develop educational resources could be a lucrative side gig to get into.

Consultant

With many businesses having to re-evaluate strategies, consultants that provide advice on performance and efficiency could be widely required, making this vocation a rewarding side job.

Copy Editor

If you’re a whiz with words and grammar, becoming a copy editor that checks and edits diverse types of content, could see you in high demand.

Customer Service Representative

With more and more businesses outsourcing operations to save money in the current climate, offering customer service representative services could be a great way to earn an additional income.

Editor

The current climate of uncertainty has created a demand for quality news and information. Being an editor that reviews and prepares copy for both online and print publications could be a rewarding way to make money.

Executive Assistant

An executive assistant provides admin support to managers, such as preparing reports and managing calendars. With more and more businesses having to make cuts to budget and outsource admin tasks, offering such services could mean you are in high demand.

Graphic Designer

To remain competitive during the uncertain climate, businesses may require compelling and creative graphic branding. Hence, providing professional graphic designer services could be a lucrative side job to embark on.

Health Coach

The health crisis has made everyone re-evaluate their lifestyles. Becoming a health coach that offers advice and support on health and wellness changes, could be a sensible move given the current climate.

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Interpreter

Another key side job identified by FlexJobs is being an interpreter. Translating documents and verbal messages can be carried out remotely and conveniently online.

Lead Generation

With businesses grappling for innovative ways to create leads, offering lead generation services could be a wise side-line to get into.

Medical Coder

For health insurance companies looking for ways to make medical billing more efficient, they may require the services of a medical coder. If you can assist with accurate and fast coding of data, this could be the side job for you.

Online ESL Teacher

If you’ve got great writing skills and you’re looking for a side job, why not become an online ESL teacher? During the present climate, assisting non-native English speakers to understand and write English online, could be a lucrative business to get into.

Photographer

If you’re looking for a creative side-line to make some additional money, then why not put your photographic skills to the test and start selling photos?

Project Manager

Having to make vital budget cuts, companies may seek outside help to project manage projects. If you’ve got great management skills, you might want to start offering project management services.

Proofreader

No business wants to send typo-cluttered content out? Help businesses overcome the embarrassment being associated with copy littered with mistakes by offering proof-reading services.

Quantitative Market Researcher

If you enjoy researching market trends and collating data, why not become a quantitative market researcher?

Recruiter

For many businesses, finding time to identify and recruit suitable candidates can be challenging. This is where professionals that offer recruitment services could prove invaluable.

Resume Writer

With people applying for jobs up and down the country, there is high demand for well-written resumes. Offering resume writing services could see you in high demand, especially given the current rush for jobs.

Social Media Manager

During lockdown and as lockdown restrictions are lifted, social media has proved an invaluable way for businesses to communicate with the outside world. Capitalize on the current demand for companies to use social media to develop brand awareness by becoming a social media professional.

Transcriber

If you’re a speedy typist, why not offer transcriber services to type written records and review drafts?

Tutor

With schools being closed for so long, remote tutors are in high demand to help students study more proficiently and prepare for exams.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants assist businesses with a host of important admin tasks. These in-demand professionals help companies with daily tasks like responding to emails and phone calls from remote locations.

Writer

The request for quality written content is more important now than it’s ever been, meaning those who can write compelling, quality content are in high demand. Offering writing services could be a profitable way to boost your income during these uncertain times.

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Businesses in These Cities Haven’t Felt the COVID Pandemic Too Hard

Businesses in These Cities Haven’t Felt the COVID Pandemic Too Hard


The pandemic impacted businesses of all sizes across the country. But companies in some cities didn’t bear the brunt of the business shutdown orders as much as others.

LendingTree recently analyzed data to see what American cities saw the least negative impact as a result of the pandemic response.

The data showed how many businesses in cities saw little or no negative effect from the COVID-19 pandemic. And in some places, the pandemic response actually had a positive impact on businesses in these cities.



Louisville Businesses Feel Less Negative Impacts from COVID-19 Closures

LendingTree analysis shows Louisville, Kentucky. According to LendingTree data, 14.7% of businesses in that city say they felt little or no positive effect from the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 17.9% in Louisville say the pandemic caused no negative effect on their business. In fact, 2.9% say the pandemic had a positive impact on their business. That’s the highest percentage of businesses in any city in the U.S.

These are the top 15 cities in the US that felt little or no negative impact due to the coronavirus pandemic response:

  1. Louisville, Ky. (17.9%)
  2. Virginia Beach, Va. (16.6)
  3. Phoenix (16.1)
  4. St. Louis (15.6)
  5. Birmingham, Ala. (15.5)
  6. Indianapolis (15.3)
  7. Jacksonville, Fla. (14.9)
  8. Tampa, Fla. (14.8)
  9. San Antonio (14.6)
  10. New Orleans (14.6)
  11. Milwaukee (14.4)
  12. Salt Lake City (14.2)
  13. Raleigh, N.C. (13.9)
  14. Washington (13.8)
  15. Kansas City, Mo. (13.7)

According to LendingTree, Louisville had 3,613 cases of COVID19 as of June 24. Many businesses like race tracks, fitness centers, restaurants and bars have been permitted to reopen in that city.

Second Place

In second place was Virginia Beach, VA. They had 16.6% of business owners reporting no negative effects.

The number of cases in Virginia Beach  was much lower. They reported 1,038 cases. As of June 24, beaches have reopened and $1.3 million has been earmarked for businesses still struggling.

A previous LendingTree survey ranked Virginia as the second place state for essential businesses (80.6%).  The first phase of reopening started May 15 with restrictions varying by city and county.

That survey also listed Maryland as the top state with 81.5% of essential businesses.

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The original numbers for the research on cities came from the Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey.  That survey found 37% of  national respondents reporting a largely negative effect on their businesses. At the same time, 12.8% said the pandemic had little or no effect.

Phoenix, Arizona takes the third position in the LendingTree analysis. In that city, 16.1% of small business owners report no negative effects from the pandemic. The number of coronavirus cases there is higher. Almost 35,000 cases were reported and 654 deaths. Most of the nonessential businesses in the area have been reopening since May according to Lending Tree.

Other Cities

Other cities mentioned in the LendingTree analysis include Detroit. That city reported 5.6% of businesses having no negative coronavirus effects. New York reported 7.3% with no negative consequences. San Francisco scored 8.9 percent.

There were other interesting stats. For example,  Philadelphia (at 9%) scored lower than  cities like Boston at 10.5 percent. Washington was 14th on the list with 13.8% of respondents reporting no negative effects from COVID 19.

Data Gathered

The LendingTree analysis looked at the data from 50 metropolitan areas  from the Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey. The team looked at averages from five weeks of the data.  It had been been collected between April 26 and May 30 of this year.

LendingTree is an online loan marketplace. It looks after a variety of needs like small business loans, personal loans and auto loans. They also offer shopping for other programs.

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Only 12% of Salespeople Believe Automation Will Take Their Job

Only 12% of Salespeople Believe Automation Will Take Their Job


Automation is making a huge impact on small businesses and the workforce as a whole. But salespeople aren’t generally concerned about losing jobs to automation.

A recent report on the state of retail sales from Raydiant, a digital signage platform for businesses, found that only 12% of retail sales professionals believe that their jobs will be taken by robots in the coming years. In fact, only 13% of the workers who are still employed are currently worried about their job security as their employers emerge from COVID-19 shutdowns.

Salesperson Jobs Automation – Raydiant Survey

Basically, these numbers indicate the importance of sales associates in a retail environment. Regardless of the economy and the technology available, a human touch is generally still preferred when attempting to close sales with customers in person. Even if automation is employed in other areas, sales associates believe they will still be needed to make the most of the technology.

Raydiant CEO Bobby Marhamat said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Sales associates aren’t worried about being replaced and they shouldn’t be. Throughout history, there have always been doom and gloom headlines about how certain workers will be replaced by technology but the reality is, in most situations, technology ends up being combined with human skills to create new possibilities. That is exactly what we will see here. Sales associates will be empowered by technology to create better experiences and engage more customers.”

Raydiant’s report includes responses from 500 currently-employed sales associates at brick-and-mortar retail locations. Some of the respondents work at large retail chains, while others work at small, independent businesses.

In addition to the interesting notes about automation, the survey also found that 48% of retail workers feel like their employer is taking their health extremely seriously amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And 54.8% of customers feel like the establishments where they shop are taking their health very seriously.

While it’s undeniable that COVID-19 has made a major impact on the retail industry, these findings show that the importance of professional sales staff may be one element that remains even as the industry shifts. The pandemic may cause more businesses to shift their offerings — just as many were already making adjustments due to the rise of online shopping.

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But those that stick around post-pandemic are still likely to utilize sales professionals to create an experience that customers will actually remember. Though much has been made about the death of retail and the rise of automation, the idea of creating a positive experience is always important. And individual sales associates can be a big part of that.

Marhamat says, “Before COVID, we were very vocal about our belief that despite the headlines, brick and mortar retail was not dying, it was simply evolving. COVID has hit the industry hard but our belief remains as strong as ever.

Smart, forward-looking operators are evolving and realizing that if they want to get customers in the door, they need to give them an experience worth coming leaving their house for. Customers don’t want to just buy products, they want to have an experience.

Well trained sales associates play a critical role in creating these in-store experiences.”

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45% More Productive Working at the Office, Not Home

45% More Productive Working at the Office, Not Home


Office productivity vs. home productivity. Right now, there’s a dilemma facing many employers. Where are your employees at their best?

Almost half (45%) of workers say they are more productive working in an office than remotely. The sentiment to work more productively in an office comes at a time when an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.

These figures were derived from a study by The Manifest, providers of data-driven benchmarks for small business. Manifest’s study looked at the productiveness of working from home and office locations. The research involved The Manifest surveying 365 workers across the US from all age groups.

Just 30% of employees say they are more productive working from home, compared to 45% in an office. Almost a quarter (24%) say they are equally productive working in an office and from home.



Office vs Home Productivity

With more employees working from home than ever before, it’s important employers and their staff implement measures to try boost and maintain productivity, motivation and morale.

The Manifest’s research unveiled strategies to help remote working teams improve the productiveness of remote working and stay motivated.

Use a Designated Workspace

43% of the survey’s respondents said they have a designated workspace while working from home. Designating an area of the home specifically for working is a leading strategy for promoting productivity and motivation.

Bethan Vincent, marketing director of app and web developers Netsells, converted a spare bedroom at her home into an office. Vincent shared with The Manifest the importance of having that dedicated space when working from home.

“This ensures I have a dedicated space to work from and ‘commute’ to each morning. Even if you can’t spare a whole room, I do believe it’s important to have a dedicated space you work in and leave at the end of the day, even if it’s just clearing away your laptop from a kitchen table,” said the marketing director.

Structure the Working Day

It is also important to have a structure to the day when working from home. The research shows that 36% of employees say having a structure so the day resembles ‘normal’ working hours can help boost productivity. The working daily routine should include defined starting and finishing times.

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Take Breaks

According to the survey, 34% of workers believe taking breaks is essential in the quest to remain productive when working from home.

The research highlights the ‘Pomodoro Technique’, involving breaking work up into 25-minute increments with short 3 – 5-minute breaks in-between.

Set a Schedule

It is not uncommon for people working from home to suffer from a concept known as ‘time famine.’ This refers to the feeling of being overwhelmed and having too much to do in too little time.

Setting a schedule, of which 26% of the respondents admitted to doing, can help overcome such feelings and make accomplishing tasks more attainable.

Limit Distractions

Another method for boosting productivity when homeworking is to reduce distractions. According to the survey, almost a quarter of remote workers believe by actively limited distractions, productivity is increased.

Regularly Communicate with Colleagues

Almost a quarter of remote workers (23%) believe that regular communication with co-workers is important for maintaining productivity. With the wealth of apps and software designed for instant and seamless remote communication, there is little excuse for not holding regular, productivity-boosting meetings with teams.

The key message of The Manifest’s survey is that for homeworking to be productive, effort needs to be made to achieve the optimum working environment.

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PPP Loan Application Deadline Extended to August 8

PPP Loan Application Deadline Extended to August 8


If you didn’t complete an application for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan before the previous deadline, you’re in luck. On July 4, President Donald Trump extended the deadline for PPP loan applications for more than another month.

The new deadline for PPP loan applications is August 8.



PPP Loan Deadline Extended to August 8

The previous deadline of June 30 came and went but there was still more than $130 billion available to businesses in the US. The PPP loan was created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its goal was to keep employers connected to their employees through the length of any government-ordered business shutdowns.

PPP loans can be totally forgiven if the businesses awarded the money spend it within a certain time frame and on limited business expenses, namely payroll.

READ MORE: PPP Loan FAQs

PPP Loan Data

So far, the 5,461 banks and other lenders participating in the PPP loan program have approved about 4.9 million loans to businesses across the country. More than $521 billion has been borrowed, according to the US Small Business Administration.

Who’s getting these loans? There’s been some criticism of the PPP loan program, mostly when it was revealed that some larger companies were getting approved for PPP loans. The program was designed specifically for the millions of small businesses across the country.

The SBA and Treasury Dept. hoped to solve those loopholes which allowed a company like the Los Angeles Lakers to get a PPP loan when a second round of funding was approved.

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According to the SBA, health care and social assistance companies have gotten the most PPP loans, based on the amount borrowed.

Here are the top 10 NAICS industry sectors based on PPP loan amounts:

  1. Health care and social assistance ($67.3 billion)
  2. Professional, scientific, and technical services ($66.4 billion)
  3. Construction ($64.5 billion)
  4. Manufacturing ($54 billion)
  5. Accommodation and food services ($42 billion)
  6. Retail trade ($40.3 billion)
  7. Other services ($31.1 billion)
  8. Wholesale trade ($27.7 billion)
  9. Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services ($26.4 billion)
  10. Transportation and warehousing ($17 billion)

Businesses in California have received the most PPP loan funding, getting $68.2 billion so far. Texas has the second-highest total at $41.1 billion and New York is third at $38.3 billion.

PPP Loan Size

Of the nearly 5 million PPP loans approved (through June 30), some were for more than $5 million. In fact, the SBA says 4,840 loans for more than that amount have been approved. But that represents just one-tenth of the loans approved. And the more than $33 million approved in those loans is about 6.5% of the amount borrowed.

The overwhelming majority of PPP loans have been for $50,000 or less. The 3.2 million loans of that size represent 66.8% of all the PPP loans approved.

SBA says the average PPP loan is $107,000. And 86.5% of all PPP loans were less than $150,000.

Image: US Small Business Administration




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34% of Employees Suffering Lockdown Lethargy %%sep%% %%sitename%%

34% of Employees Suffering Lockdown Lethargy %%sep%% %%sitename%%


Almost one-third of one country’s workforce is currently suffering from lockdown lethargy.

A new survey of UK employees found 34% suffering from a lull in production brought on by weariness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic response. While this survey looked at British employees, we presume the feeling is likely mutual in the US. However, it should be noted that restrictions in the UK were slightly stricter than in most of the US.

The data comes from a report compiled by Actus, creators of award-winning performance management software. The research shows 34% of those working from home are suffering from lower energy levels, a mood referred to as ‘Lockdown Lethargy.’

The tendency for people to feel lethargic working from home comes as lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted around the world.

As lockdown is eased, many industries that have been closed for weeks are beginning to reopen, including the hospitality and the so-called non-essential retail businesses.



34% Suffering from Lockdown Lethargy Working from Home

The survey also showed that 84% of those polled have been suffering from fluctuating energy levels in recent weeks. This contrasted to just 8% of workers who say they have had ‘normal’ energy levels while working remotely.

For small business owners everywhere, the findings of the Actus’ research are important. By highlighting the tendency for remote working employees to feel lethargic, employers are in a better position to implement measures to try and invigorate the energy levels of staff.

As Lucinda Carney, CEO of Actus comments in a press statement: “If you speak to colleagues and clients across the board, they talk about feelings of tiredness despite getting adequate sleep. COVID-19 has taken an invisible toll on energy levels and is a worrying consequence for leaders trying to motivate their staff back to ‘normal’.”

Energy-Boosting Strategies for Remote Working Staff

With autumn and winter round the corner, traditional energy-zapping seasons, it’s more important than ever employers have strategies in place to attempt to boost energy levels among remote working staff.

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In an attempt to help employers and employees overcome the mental fatigue of life and work in lockdown, Actus has composed ‘5 Steps to Boost Employee Energy’.

Focus on the Human

The steps include focusing on the human being before discussing a task. Focusing on the human will help employers understand their unique circumstances and support them in the best, most productive way.

Enforce Breaks

It’s important to encourage remote workers to take breaks to mentally and physically recharge.

Pick Up the Phone

Actus also recommends remote workers pick up the phone and talk 1-2-1. Talking on the phone can be less exhausting than video calls and messages are less likely to be misinterpreted.

Show Appreciation

Virtual working can lead to feelings of isolation, which doesn’t do energy levels or morale any favours. Showing appreciation to workers for their hard work can go a long way in boosting motivation.

Discuss Wellbeing

Actus also advises employers to discuss well-being with remote working teams. By creating a dialogue around energy levels, wellbeing and sleep, can help iron out the struggles employees may be facing.

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Image: Small Business Trends




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