Good Morning. Here’s your quick rundown of the business and technical news you should know for the week ahead. – Charlotte Cowles
What’s happening? (February 28th – March 6th)
The Biden government’s gigantic stimulus package snuck through the Senate last week, but not without major concessions. The $ 15 an hour minimum wage rule was removed from the bill after a bipartisan Senate official ruled it violated budgetary rules. Lawmakers also abandoned efforts to increase federal unemployment benefits from $ 300 to $ 400 a week, but continue to plan to extend it through September 6. Finally, they tightened the income qualifications for stimulus checks. Under the current bill, $ 1,400 checks would be sent to individuals earning up to $ 75,000, single parents earning $ 112,500, and couples earning $ 150,000. Those with higher incomes would get less, and those earning more than $ 80,000 and households with incomes greater than $ 160,000 would get nothing. Mr Biden’s original proposal included a cap of $ 100,000 for individuals, $ 150,000 for single parents, and $ 200,000 for couples.
Political advertising is returning
Facebook indefinitely banned political ads back in November when tackling misinformation (especially about voting and election fraud) was like playing Whac-A-Mole. However, according to the platform, it is time to resume “social, election or political” ads. To keep things from getting out of hand again, Facebook announced that political advertisers will have to perform a series of identity checks before they can post their content. These are also given a disclaimer stating that they were “paid” by a political organization.
Bring the whiskey back
The United States suspended a 25 percent tariff on wine, cheese and other products, as well as a separate tariff on British goods, both of which were introduced by the Trump administration in 2019. The tariffs should pay off in decades. long dispute over airline subsidies. But they also deprived Americans of good alcohol and snacks. Scotch whiskey exports to the US have since fallen 35 percent, according to the industry’s trading group. The Biden government will raise tariffs for four months as it tries to find a long-term solution to the trade disputes.
What’s next? (March 7-13)
On Wednesday, all companies in Texas can open 100 percent. The state has also lifted its mask mandate and all other pandemic restrictions, despite strong warnings from health officials and President Biden calling the rollback “Neanderthal thinking.” Other states have also eased restrictions on businesses as the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline, and recent unemployment figures show jobs are returning even faster than expected, particularly in the hospitality industry – good news overall. However, with new variants of the virus floating around and less than 20 percent of the US population partially vaccinated, scientists fear that overly aggressive reopenings could backfire.
Google’s cookie cut
Petrol pumps, so 2020
Since General Motors made a promise in January to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035, other automakers like Ford Motor have made similar promises. And last week, Volvo improved them all one more time, pledging to be fully electric by 2030. The industry’s move away from fossil fuels has accelerated rapidly since President Biden took office and promised to tackle climate change. It follows demand too: China, the world’s largest auto market, recently ordered most new cars to run on electricity by 2035, and electric cars were the fastest growing segment of the European market last year.
Square, the digital payments company led by Twitter’s top executive Jack Dorsey, will acquire a controlling stake in Tidal, the music streaming service operated by Jay-Z and other artists including his wife Beyoncé and Rihanna. The pandemic-friendly delivery business Instacart has raised $ 265 million and more than doubled its valuation. And in case you want to change your dining comfort, Hershey has introduced a Reese mug with peanut butter that eliminates the chocolate exterior.