August Roundup for Small Business Owners

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Pink Still Goes with Everything

Thanks to the many of you who shared your Barbie Movie experiences this week. In its first 10 days, Barbie grossed US $775 million globally. Despite the internet’s consternation, the US audience last week was 35% male. 

Fed says no recession thanks to Swifties and the Beyhive

The Fed raised interest rates another 25 basis points (.25%) again last week. So, you’re probably not loving any borrowing convos or credit card balances right now. But the Fed notes had two bright spots:

  1. The seeming perpetual two-quarters-from-now recession is out of the forecast, based on steady (albeit small-ish) economic growth and rapidly dropping rates of consumer price inflation.
  2. Taylor Swift is acknowledged by name as a contributing economic factor to the elusive “soft landing.” 

On the first one, it’s time to start planning for what might happen if things go right. I know, it’s been three and a half years of how it started versus how it’s going. Blech. 

It’s time to consider that 2024 may be steady with historically normal growth and target inflation. In other words, boring. Perhaps even predictable.

Small companies can move more nimbly than large ones. In your fall planning, consider where you have an advantage over the next 12-18 months and go for it.

On the second point, thanks, Swifties, for pumping $5 billion into the US economy this summer. Ticket sales for Taylor’s 52 domestic shows are forecast at $1.6 billion. 

In Q3, I’ll be reading the Fed notes for Beyoncé. Ticket sales for her 57 global shows are forecast at $2 billion. While the US tour is just beginning, Sweden credited her two Stockholm shows with the entirety of the country’s economic growth in July. Beyoncé will be celebrating Black-owned small businesses on 10 US tour stops with $1 million in grants. 

Consumer spending continues to shift to high-quality experiences over stuff. And when I say “consumer,” you can substitute “female.” Women buy half of products marketed to men and make over 85% of household spending decisions, while doing 3x the unpaid work. A bit of food for planning thought.

All-new I-9

From the “boring but necessary” department: collecting and filing new hire I-9s just got a little easier.

On August 1, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service released a revised and reformatted I-9 form. The primary form is now one page (yay, sustainability!) and the flow has been simplified.

If you onboard digitally, your software provider has likely already made this update. Check your email alerts. If you use paper or PDF, download the new copy now.

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