“My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.
“This group is for people who need things,” reads the About info on the Facebook page of Barter Group — Southern NV.
Veronica Coon, a hairdresser in Henderson, Nevada, started the group back in March to help people find hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and other products in high demand. But as the pandemic drags on, the things that people need have changed.
Early on in the pandemic, Coon said hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and toilet paper were the most requested items. Later in the year, she said many people traded or gave away personal home goods like patio furniture.
In December, she said many people came to the group looking for holiday gifts for their kids. Others shared information on rental assistance, unemployment benefits and food banks. “It’s turned from one need to another,” said Coon.
When she first started the group, Coon said she didn’t know how long it would be active. She soon realized however, that it could serve a vital purpose in her community, even after the pandemic ends.
“I don’t plan on ever closing the group down just because COVID stops,” she said. “Because there’s always going to be people [who don’t have] the cash to meet their needs.”
Coon said she’s also been happy to see more barter groups pop up around the country. “It helps the whole community when you have more than one place for people to turn,” she said. “That’s necessary, even not in a pandemic.”
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COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?
The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.
What kind of help can small businesses get right now?
A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.
What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?
New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.
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