Laid-off workers start side hustles, business ventures to survive amid COVID-19 pandemic

Erwin Oropesa

An unemployed stagehand is suddenly an e-commerce mogul, peddling hard-to-find items such as toilet paper and home fitness equipment. A laid-off personal vacation adviser may have found her true calling — teaching English online to students around the globe. A recruiter is paying the bills as she awaits her unemployment benefit checks by day-trading stocks.

With the coronavirus pandemic throwing tens of millions of Americans out of work or reducing their hours, many are scrambling to make ends meet by taking on part-time jobs and other side hustles, launching new ventures, or playing the market – often from the safety of their homes. 

The phenomenon isn’t captured by the Labor Department’s employment data because of the overall devastation wrought by the virus. In April, a record 20.5 million U.S. jobs were wiped out, and Labor’s May jobs report Friday is projected to record another eight million layoffs, driving the unemployment

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How taxpayers stand to benefit from federal support for big business amid COVID-19

Erwin Oropesa

Finance Minister Bill Morneau provided details about the federal government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) on Wednesday. The program, announced last week, gives financial support to big businesses that need help get them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies with annual sales of at least $300 million can apply for the program designed to protect businesses and jobs.

“These terms ensure that this financing facility provides financing to bridge through this difficult time, but not bailouts,” Morneau said during a news conference.

Public companies must issue warrants with the option to purchase the borrower’s common shares totalling 15 per cent of the principal amount, or receive cash consideration equivalent to the value of the warrants.

“The idea behind the warrant is to make sure that if a firm does well, that Canadians and Canadian tax payers share in that upside,” Morneau said.

Morneau also said Ottawa won’t sit on

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Coca-Cola CEO says business is improving amid COVID-19 pandemic

Erwin Oropesa

Coca-Cola’s (KO) business is ever so slowly getting its caffeine high back after being hit hard in the spring by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are seeing an improvement,” Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO James Quincey told Yahoo Finance in an interview, when asked about the current state of the beverage giant’s business. It was just a few weeks back that Coca-Cola surprised many on Wall Street with its take on the business towards the end of the first quarter.

Coke said in late April that global volume was down 25% as it felt the brunt of restaurant closings and the lack of sporting events, both of which are two key sales drivers. Analysts estimate close to 50% of Coke’s business is leveraged to the “away from home” consumption occasions.

The company acknowledged at the time the impact to the business in the second quarter from coronavirus-related social distancing efforts

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