Feature

New business boom continues

And more of the week's best financial insight

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

Company sues griping ex-employee

A company is suing a former employee who left bad reviews on Glassdoor, said Jack Newsham at Business Insider. The fintech startup LoanStreet says software engineer Wyatt Troia began an online smear campaign after he was fired last year. Troia wrote on the jobs site Glassdoor that the company was "a fraudulent, exploitative mess" and prospective employees should "stay far, far away." But LoanStreet, which is seeking $1 million for defamation, said the aggrieved worker didn't stop there, actually "buying Google ads that draw attention to his negative reviews for anyone who searches for 'LoanStreet.'" Troia alleges that "he was promised equity worth $100,000 that would begin vesting after a year. But he didn't get the terms in writing," and he was let go "before any of his options vested."

New business boom continues

Americans are starting companies at the fastest pace ever recorded, said Annie Lowrey at The Atlantic. "The coronavirus decimated an unprecedented number of small businesses — 200,000 more closed than would be expected during a normal year." But about 500,000 more businesses were also started between mid-2020 and mid-2021 than from mid-2018 to mid-2019. When the window for applications for small-business loans closed in June, "there was no drop in new-business formation, either." Working from home "made setting up shop faster and cut certain costs." Videoconferencing made "connecting with suppliers, investors, and sales contacts simpler" and more efficient. Several entrepreneurs said the pandemic "changed their risk-reward calculus in some ineffable, unquantifiable way." The attitude became "If not now, when?"

Mortgage aid for special situations

The Treasury Department has allowed states to allocate federal mortgage aid to homeowners with nontraditional home loans, said Matthew Goldstein at The New York Times. New federal guidance released last week extended eligibility for financial aid "to qualified residents who face foreclosure on a loan on a mobile home or a home acquired through a contract for deed — a loan financed by the seller of the property." Some elderly homeowners who have taken out a reverse mortgage may also qualify. Congress allocated almost $10 billion of funds in the March stimulus package to help people who fell behind on their mortgage payments during the pandemic stay in their homes.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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