Simple Solutions: Helping Businesses Move Forward

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March 30, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic decimated small businesses and communities. To learn more about what small businesses can do moving forward, I spoke with Taylor Maag from Jobs for the Future in the first of a two part newsletter.

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Need to Know

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis decimated businesses and regions across the country, and many are still struggling. I spoke with Taylor Maag, associate director for the policy office at the national nonprofit Jobs for the Future (JFF), about creating an equitable economic recovery and how we can take steps towards a better future.

What is an equitable economic recovery?

The idea of an equitable economic recovery is not about just getting back to normal—it’s about creating a new and better way forward.

We need systems that are more innovative and that can dismantle inequitable and old structures that we’ve had for years,” Maag told me in an interview. “And that’s something [JFF is] really thinking about so our systems can better serve workers and learners, but also the businesses and regional economy.”

Small businesses lead the way

Small businesses are the backbones of communities, and many were (and continue to be) hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises are actually really great when you look at equity because they’re really representative of the communities they serve and really employ individuals in that community,” Maag said. “They are critical to closing equity gaps in employment and wages we’ve seen.”

Rebuilding communities together

Rebuilding a community is a group effort—especially when that community is as geographically and socioeconomically diverse as the US as a whole. There is not a one-size-fits-all model, and that’s okay.

In our conversation, Maag focused on three key points: funding, education, and investment. Government, corporate, and nonprofit funding can provide skills training opportunities for worker investment. It all ties together, but it must start somewhere. Why not with your business?

Read more of my conversation with Taylor Maag about what your small business can do.

Want to know more about how your business can find employees and promote equity? We’ll break down solutions in next week’s newsletter.

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Businesses hiring Ukrainian refugees

The European Union is helping fast track Ukrainian refugees (nearly 4 million) that waives visas and provides education and labor opportunities. Adecco, a global staffing firm, has launched a job site for Ukrainian refugees that already has 200 companies posting and over 900 refugees registered. Job boards in Germany and job listings in Portugal are also helping refugees find employment across the continent.

On March 24, the Biden Administration announced the US would welcome up to 100,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Like in Europe, US businesses can help refugees. We found a helpful guide for best practices.

It’s also important to note that Ukrainian refugees are not the only refugees arriving to the US.

What’s new

  • One of the key tenets of an equitable economic recovery is accessible internet. We put together a list of the best providers.
  • Inventory cycle counting is all about ensuring you have the products in stock for your business.
  • Are you looking for an easy way to track cash flow? Try cash accounting.
  • It is often difficult to get a loan after bankruptcy—but it isn’t impossible. We put together a guide to help.

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you next week.

     - Alex and the team

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Alex Kerai
Written by
Alex Kerai
Alex reports on emerging consumer trends. Previously he was a staff writer for, with a focus on inventory management and ecommerce. He also started and wrote the Simple Solutions newsletter that was delivered to email subscribers each week, featuring news and interviews with business leaders and academics across the world. His writing on consumer trends can also be seen on,,,, and Utilizing his experience in multimedia content creation for businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions, Alex writes for businesses today.
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