ESPN: Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving commits $1.5M to help pay WNBA players who opted out

ESPN: Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving commits $1.5M to help pay WNBA players who opted out. “Kyrie Irving is helping to make sure WNBA players can sit out the season and not stress about a paycheck. The Brooklyn Nets star is committing $1.5 million to supplement the income of players who choose not to play this season, whether because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons.”

Rent’s due, again: Monthly anxieties deepen as aid falls off (Associated Press)

Associated Press: Rent’s due, again: Monthly anxieties deepen as aid falls off. “The Associated Press reconnected with renters first interviewed ahead of their April payments. Four months later, some have returned to work. One saw her church step in to cover her rent. Some found landlords willing to negotiate, while others are still looking for relief.”

ProPublica: How the Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Keep Relief Money That Was Supposed to Go to Workers

ProPublica: How the Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Keep Relief Money That Was Supposed to Go to Workers. “Flying Food didn’t just lay off [Gebrish] Weldemariam. The Chicago-based company, one of the largest airline caterers in the country, has pink slipped more than 2,000 other workers since March. The cuts left the vast majority of its workforce out of a job at facilities in California, Chicago, Virginia and the New York City area, according to the union UNITE HERE, which represents Flying Food workers. Then in June, the Flying Food was approved to receive $85 million from the Trump administration from a pandemic relief program that was intended to preserve those very jobs.”

Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program

Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program. “A federal watchdog reported Tuesday that it has identified $250 million in taxpayer-subsidized coronavirus loan funds given to ‘potentially ineligible recipients,’ pointing to a strong likelihood of widespread fraud in an important but troubled economic assistance program. The Small Business Administration’s office of inspector general launched numerous investigations after receiving more than 1,000 hotline complaints about potentially fraudulent transactions, according to a report released Tuesday. It also criticized the agency for allegedly failing to put in place internal controls to prevent abuse.”

Washington Post: Ten bucks left, no place to go: How the pandemic and a broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives

Washington Post: Ten bucks left, no place to go: How the pandemic and a broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives. “The pandemic crept up on Lakeisha Rollins one text at a time. When the coronavirus hit the District in March, the 30-year-old was working at the Whole Foods Market on P Street NW, pulling items off shelves to fill online orders. Rollins, who is studying to become a nursing assistant, got a message that one of her co-workers had tested positive. The next day, another text alerted her about another positive employee. By April, six workers at the store had contracted the virus.”

Yale News: Yale study finds expanded jobless benefits did not reduce employment

Yale News: Yale study finds expanded jobless benefits did not reduce employment. “A new report by Yale economists finds no evidence that the enhanced jobless benefits Congress authorized in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic reduced employment. The report (PDF) addresses concerns that the more generous unemployment benefits, which provide $600 per week above state unemployment insurance payments, would disincentivize work.”

ProPublica: The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers

ProPublica: The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers. “Companies typically seek contracted temp workers because they don’t have to pay them benefits and can pick them up and let them go easily. For sudden needs brought on by COVID-19, such as conducting temperature checks and sanitizing workplaces, staffing companies can recruit, vet, hire and supply workers on a few days’ notice. ‘It’s amazing, but our demand for services has just gone through the roof,’ said Charles Tope, the CEO of Monterey, California-based Employnet, which works in industries ranging from health care to warehousing. So it may come as a surprise that temp staffing companies like Employnet were among the biggest beneficiaries of small-business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to help hard-hit firms keep paying their employees.”

‘A Band-Aid on a bullet wound’: Workers are getting laid off anew as PPP runs out (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘A Band-Aid on a bullet wound’: Workers are getting laid off anew as PPP runs out. “The phone stopped ringing at the Nelsons’ auto-body shop in Broomfield, Colo., in March. The normal four-to-six-week wait for customers looking to have dents or bumps fixed on their cars disappeared, leaving the shop silent. Tammy Nelson and her husband, Scott, applied in April for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program — the federal government’s chaotic $660 billion aid program meant to help businesses and their workers stay afloat. But the PPP loan had only delayed the inevitable — the phone didn’t start ringing again amid the surging pandemic. Nelson laid off her five employees at the end of June, including herself and her husband. They are among the first wave of PPP layoffs happening across the country, as the loan program begins to expire.”

Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win. “Ever since the public backlash last April against some large, well-off or nationwide companies that helped themselves to emergency government funds intended to rescue small businesses during the pandemic, federal officials have vowed to crack down on any abuses of the popular program, also known as PPP. That effort is now underway with more than a dozen criminal cases filed in 11 states in recent weeks. All involve allegations of blatant fraud, such as lying on applications, falsifying tax or business records and misappropriating money. And most involve relatively small businesses or individual owners.”

NJ .com: ‘We drained all our savings.’ Unemployed N.J. workers still waiting for benefits after 4 months

NJ .com: ‘We drained all our savings.’ Unemployed N.J. workers still waiting for benefits after 4 months. “Dan Seaman left his last job as a chef in an assisted living facility because he lives with his parents, who are in their 70s and high-risk groups for coronavirus. He feared bringing the infection home. He spent the last four months calling unemployment offices — more than 9,000 times, by his count — to resolve the unknown issue holding up his March 15 claim. He’s still trying.”

BuzzFeed News: The $600 Unemployment Benefits Are Expiring This Weekend Because Senate Republicans Didn’t Do Anything

BuzzFeed News: The $600 Unemployment Benefits Are Expiring This Weekend Because Senate Republicans Didn’t Do Anything. “After this weekend, the unemployment subsidy expires. Congress plans to pass another coronavirus aid bill but is moving at a snail’s pace. Republicans spent the entire week debating among themselves on a proposal. Bipartisan talks have not yet even begun. The Senate left Washington on Thursday and won’t return until Monday, after the benefits expire. At the least, a temporary lapse in unemployment aid is all but certain. This is happening right as millions of people are being exposed to the threat of eviction.”

New York Times: Are You Eligible for Food Stamps Now? Maybe, but It’s Complex

New York Times: Are You Eligible for Food Stamps Now? Maybe, but It’s Complex. “SNAP is overseen by the Department of Agriculture, which lays out the rules. States handle applications and administration, and they have some leeway with the federal regulations. (And with the terms: Missouri still uses the older ‘food stamp’ phrasing.) As a result, it’s possible to offer some general guidelines for understanding how the program works, but your state has the final word. The rules are numerous and complicated, but there are exceptions and waivers that might apply to you — so don’t be deterred.”

‘It’s a mess’: Congress prepares to lurch over unemployment aid cliff (Politico)

Politico: ‘It’s a mess’: Congress prepares to lurch over unemployment aid cliff. “A dysfunctional Congress is about to go careening off yet another fiscal cliff — but this will hurt a hell of a lot more than most. Tens of millions of unemployed Americans are about to lose their economic lifeline during the worst recession in 80 years, with eviction protections set to expire at the same time.”

CNN: Bipartisan duo tries to create opening for broader small business coronavirus-relief program

CNN: Bipartisan duo tries to create opening for broader small business coronavirus-relief program. “As US lawmakers prepare this week to launch negotiations over the next round of stimulus funding, a bipartisan duo is pushing a proposal to aid small businesses that eschews the more targeted approach under consideration. It’s a push that isn’t guaranteed to succeed, particularly amid public outrage at the ability of larger public companies to tap into the emergency forgivable loan program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Daily Kos: Angry, broke constituents have vulnerable Senate GOP at odds with McConnell on COVID-19 relief

Daily Kos: Angry, broke constituents have vulnerable Senate GOP at odds with McConnell on COVID-19 relief. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his priorities for the next coronavirus relief bill: forcing kids back to school and protecting businesses—and schools—from liability if they end up killing people by reopening prematurely. Those are his priorities. His cadre of vulnerable Republicans seeking reelection this year have more pressing worries, like the tens if not hundreds of thousands of their constituents who are still unemployed and are about to lose the lifeline of expanded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.”