Business is booming.

Local government layoffs, public companies take PPP money


A GM worker laser welds the ear loops onto the face masks, which is one of the most labor-intensive parts of the process.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

It was another tough week for the U.S. economy as unemployment claims soared to 26 million, erasing all the job growth since the Great Recession. That number will likely continue to rise as state and local governments, left out of federal relief packages, now brace for layoffs as well. 

Though Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed another round of funding for small businesses, controversy still surrounds the Paycheck Protection Program. Publicly traded companies dipped into the fund, and while some have returned the money, others are refusing. 

Here are our best reads of the week. 

Massive layoffs and pay cuts may hit state and local governments as federal aid goes elsewhere

Several public companies that took small business loans are keeping the cash

Despite outrage on Main Street and new pressure from the Treasury Department this week, several publicly traded companies that received payroll relief funds from the Small Business Administration oppose demands to return the cash.

Airbnb hosts say they’re getting nothing or comically small payments from $250 million relief fund

Among the rare few who have received any money, some complain that Airbnb’s policy of offering 25% of what they would normally have received under their cancellation policies is inadequate during the crisis. They are getting payments of tens or hundreds of dollars to cover losses in the thousands.

We went inside the GM plant making coronavirus face masks. Here’s what it looked like

Making medical-grade level 1 face masks isn’t as simple as it may seem. It’s particularly challenging to do in a week. More than 30 engineers, designers, buyers and members of the manufacturing team were asked to help with product development, sourcing materials and equipment as well as planning the production process.

She got a forgivable loan. Her employees hate her for it.

These high-risk Americans expect to shelter in place for a year or longer to avoid Covid-19

Sweden resisted a lockdown. Now its capital, Stockholm, is expected to reach ‘herd immunity’ in weeks

The strategy — aimed at allowing some exposure to the virus in order to build immunity among the general population while protecting high-risk groups like the elderly — has been controversial. Some health experts liken it to playing Russian roulette with public health.

These states received the most stimulus payments so far

California is at the top of the heap in terms of total cash paid to residents so far. More than 9 million households in the Golden State received a stimulus payment, adding up to $15.9 billion in payments.

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