Policy Matters

Image shows the California state flag flying in front of the capitol dome
Doug Clark
California leave bill could harm small furniture businesses

An effort to expand the California Family Rights Act could place heavy burdens on small businesses, including furniture stores, with as few as five employees. Senate Bill 1383 would require covered businesses to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid but protected leave from work for qualified employees, who could

Image shows a white-haired man standing in a field
Doug Clark
HFA pushes against PPP tax ‘gut punch’

A bipartisan bill pending in the U.S. Senate would end “confusion” about tax liabilities related to Paycheck Protection Program loans, Home Furnishings Association members were told Wednesday. HFA’s Government Relations Action Team held a conference call with Andrew Siracuse, tax counsel for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Cornyn introduced the Small

Image shows four women wearing masks outside a furniture store
Doug Clark
Face coverings become standard equipment

Masks, or no masks? That has become a contentious question in many parts of the country, where governors and mayors increasingly are issuing orders for people to wear face coverings in public places and businesses. But there’s little controversy in Massachusetts, according to Richard Tubman of Acton-based Circle Furniture. Not

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Doug Clark
PPP loan deadline nears

Anecdotally, it seems that almost every member of the Home Furnishings Association tapped into the Paycheck Protection Program. For any qualifying furniture retailers that didn’t, it’s not quite too late. The deadline for applying to the small business lending program ends June 30. If you want to apply, you should

Image shows twowome nan d a man outside a furniture store
Doug Clark
HFA’s ‘safe and essential’ argument still must be made

Jeff Smith doesn’t think his business, Walker Furniture in Gainesville, Fla., will be ordered to close again. “I’m not as worried,” he said last week. “I think it’s probably about a 20 to 25 percent chance.” But that’s a chance he’d rather not take. So Smith, a member of the

Image shows a woman sitting at a hearing table
Doug Clark
CPSC nominee Nancy Beck falters in Senate hearing

Nancy Beck’s Senate confirmation hearing June 16 turned out badly for her. Beck was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the Consumer Products Safety Commission. After a Republican member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation declared opposition, however, it appears that confirmation is unlikely. “Dr. Nancy

Image shows a government building
Doug Clark
Fed expands Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve Board’s Main Street Lending Program was supposed to serve as an alternative for larger businesses to the popular Paycheck Protection Program. Congress authorized up to $600 billion of funding, but loan terms weren’t attractive and the program was very slow to get off the ground. So, the

Image shows a woman wearing a mask placing an open sign in a store window.
Doug Clark
Was your employee’s COVID-19 case work-related?

When an employee at a Schewels Home store tested positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago, Director of Store Operations Matt Schewel knew a strong response was required. But what? “There hadn’t been much of a roadmap for what we’re supposed to do if there is a case,” Schewel said. “So

Image shows a man in a ballcap
Doug Clark
PPP changes sought by HFA will help borrowers

The U.S. Senate approved a House bill June 3 that adds needed flexibility to the Paycheck Protection Program. The action, by unanimous consent, happened only hours after Home Furnishings Association members urged Sen. Todd Young of Indiana and his colleagues to move quickly. “I will carry that message to those

Image shows Darin LaHood speaking at a podium
Doug Clark
U.S. House strongly supports PPP flexibility

Furniture retailers would get more flexibility to spend Paycheck Protection Program funds and earn loan forgiveness under a bill passed 417-1 by the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday. A similar measure will be considered in the Senate next week. The Home Furnishings Association pushed for the changes in letters to

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