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MILLENNIAL MONEY: Picking a pandemic side gig takes hustle | Business

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Side gig. Side job. Side hustle. It goes by many names and serves many purposes. For some, it’s a way to keep the lights on. For others, it’s an opportunity to save for a goal or follow a passion.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have become unemployed. Many are turning to the gig economy to make money. And it’s booming.

“Obviously online shopping has become huge, and so delivery services are packed. You’ve got Amazon Flex trucks practically ramming into each other,” says Kathy Kristof, editor at SideHusl.com, a website that reviews hundreds of online money-making platforms.

Before you rush into a side gig, scrutinize the risks, the pay and other important details. Here’s how to choose the right pandemic side job for you.

ASSESS YOURSELF FIRST

As you begin searching for a side hustle, think about your experience, skills and interests. But more importantly, consider what you’re comfortable doing.

Are you willing to be in close contact with other people, or would you prefer a socially distant position? Are you part of a high-risk group for COVID-19? What would happen if you got sick and couldn’t work? The answers to these questions will help you decide what jobs to pursue.

If either your health or financial life could be ravaged by illness, you’re going to have to be more careful than the people without those risks, Kristof says.

“Somebody who doesn’t have that same sort of risk might feel completely comfortable doing contact-free deliveries for Grubhub or Dumpling or any of these other delivery services,” Kristof says. “But somebody who is high risk, you want an online job like online tutoring.”

EXPAND YOUR DEFINITION OF ‘SIDE GIG’

“Side gig” has become synonymous with a handful of jobs: dog walking, delivering groceries and driving for Uber or Lyft. But these aren’t the only opportunities occupying the space.

You can teach a virtual yoga class, for example, sell clothing online or work as a freelance designer. Through services like TaskRabbit, you can get paid to do odd jobs like yard work and assembling furniture.

Side and part-time jobs tend to rise during economically uncertain times, according to Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager at FlexJobs, a job-search site for remote and flexible jobs. Chances are there’s something up your alley.

Roles outside the gig economy can be worth exploring, too. Features typically associated with side gigs, including flexible schedules and the ability to work from home, are increasingly spilling over into professional roles. Remote jobs posted on FlexJobs in career categories such as marketing, sales and project management have increased over 50% since March, according to a recent analysis from the site.

“Because we’ve never had to do this from home before, there was never as much acceptance. Now you’re getting widespread acceptance from the whole of corporate America,” Kristof says.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FINANCES

Once you narrow down your choices, dig into the details. Get a sense for what it’s like to work in a role, what the requirements are and how much you’re likely to earn before you commit.

You can avoid surprises by looking up a company’s Better Business Bureau rating, reading through the fine print on its website and checking out reviews on sites like SideHusl and Indeed.

“Let’s say you’re interested in delivery jobs, and you’ve got DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates. You want to look at each site and see what the fees are,” Weiler Reynolds says.

Many platforms charge registration, listing or commission fees, which can cut into your earnings. Some gigs also require you to pay expenses like gas and insurance for your vehicle. If you’re a rideshare driver, delivery driver or mover, your personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover you for commercial risk, Kristof says.

“Some online platforms automatically cover you with a commercial policy. Others do not. So you should always look for that if you’re working for an online platform,” Kristof says.

Still, that won’t necessarily cover you in all circumstances, such as when you’re en route to pick up an order. Talk to your insurance company to ensure you get the proper protection.

You’ll also want to find out whether you’ll be classified as an employee or independent contractor. This determines how you’ll pay taxes and whether or not you’ll be entitled to certain benefits. Independent contractors need to set aside a portion of their pay for taxes themselves. Employers automatically withhold income taxes for employees and usually offer health insurance, 401(k) matches or paid time off.

Weiler Reynolds says freelancers or contractors may also have to pay taxes quarterly, which can be a bigger time investment.

Don’t forget to make safety a priority. Find out what protective measures the company or local government requires while you’re on the job. If you’re unable to avoid contact with others, prepare to take appropriate precautions, such as wearing a mask or gloves.

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SEC Proposes to Permit Offerings of Equity Compensation to Gig Economy Workers

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The SEC has proposed amendments that would permit, for a temporary five-year trial period, companies to offer equity compensation to “platform workers” (gig economy workers who provide services by means of an internet or other technology based marketplace platform) under the same regulatory framework available for offerings to employees (available here). The amendments would expand Rule 701 (by which non-reporting companies may issue equity-based compensation without a registration statement) by adding a new subsection, Rule 701(h), and Form S-8 (by which reporting companies issue equity-based compensation) by adding a new General Instruction A.1.(b), to permit these offerings.

The proposed changes would be effective for five years, in order to allow the SEC to assess the impact of these changes in light of the evolving gig economy and to assess whether the issuances are being made for appropriate compensatory purposes rather than capital raising purposes. The proposed amendments take into account comment letters received in response to the SEC’s July 2018 Concept Release, in which it sought input on the ways to modernize Rule 701 and Form S-8. The proposed changes are particularly timely, as the COVID-19 pandemic, shutdowns and “work at home” orders continue to cause a re-thinking of, and evolution away from, the traditional model of a brick and mortar office-based work place.

The SEC noted that these proposed amendments are meant to address solely “considerations relevant to the U.S. Federal securities laws.” To that end, the SEC stated that it is not expressing any opinion on whether platform workers should or would be considered “employees” for the purposes of other laws or regulations.[1]

In a separate but simultaneous release, the SEC proposed amendments to more generally modernize and simplify the requirements of Rule 701 and Form S-8. For our summary of these proposed changes, please see our separate client alert, “SEC Proposes Amendments to Rule 701 and Form S-8.”

Eligible Workers

Under the proposed changes, to be eligible, platform workers must provide bona fide services through or by means of the issuer’s internet-based or other widespread, technology-based marketplace platform or system (a “platform”). Additionally:

  • workers must be unaffiliated with the issuer;
  • workers providing services to third-party end users would qualify, so long as the issuer benefits (g., by receiving a fee or percentage of compensation);
  • consistent with the existing provisions of Rule 701 and Form S-8, platform workers providing services to the issuer, its subsidiaries, its parents and subsidiaries of its parent would be eligible;
  • issuances may be made to an entity, if (i) substantially all of the entity’s activities involve the performance of bona fide services provided through a platform, and (ii) it is wholly and directly owned by the natural person actually performing the services; and
  • consistent with the separately proposed amendments to Rule 701 and Form S-8, former employees and former employees of acquired entities would be eligible for issuances under certain circumstances.

Eligible Services

The provision of certain services would not be eligible for issuances under these expanded rules – services in connection with capital-raising or with promoting or maintaining a market for the issuer’s securities would not qualify, nor would the use of a platform for the sale or transfer of permanent ownership of discrete, tangible goods (e.g., a platform that provided for the permanent transfer of real estate would not be eligible, whereas a platform that provided for the temporary rental of real estate would be).

The services would need to be provided pursuant to a written contract or agreement between the issuer and the platform worker and must be provided through a platform that the issuer operates and controls. In order to demonstrate that it controls the platform, an issuer would need to be able to show that it: (i) provides access and establishes the principal terms of service, (ii) establishes the terms and conditions by which the platform worker receives payment for services and (iii) has the authority to accept and remove platform workers providing services.

Conditions for Issuances

Any issuances would need to be made pursuant to a compensatory arrangement that is evidenced by a written compensation plan, contract or agreement between the issuer and the platform worker. To ensure that the securities are issued/received for compensatory and not speculative purposes, the SEC has additionally proposed that:

  • the amount and terms of securities issued to platform workers could not be subject to individual bargaining, nor could platform workers be permitted to elect between payment in securities or cash;
  • a platform worker could receive no more than 15% of their compensation in any 12-month period, and no more than $75,000 in any 36-month period, in securities issued pursuant to Rule 701 or registered on Form S-8; and
  • any issuances made under Rule 701 would be subject to enhanced transfer restrictions – issuers would need to take steps to ensure that these securities would be transferrable only to the issuer or by operation of law.

In order to enable the SEC to assess the use and impact of this temporary expansion, the SEC would require issuers who elect to issue securities to platform workers under Rule 701 or Form S-8 to furnish to the SEC, in a non-public manner (e.g, this information would not be filed or furnished publicly via EDGAR), the following information regarding these issuances at six-month intervals (commencing six-months after the first issuance):

  • the criteria used to determine eligibility for securities awards to platform workers, whether they are the same as for other compensatory transactions, and whether those criteria are communicated to workers in advance as an incentive;
  • the type and terms of securities issued to platform workers during the prior six months, and whether they are the same as for other compensatory issuances in that interval;
  • if issued pursuant to Rule 701, the steps taken to ensure that the securities are non-transferable;
  • the percentage of overall outstanding securities that issuances to platform workers represents;
  • during the interval, the number of platform workers and the number of non-platform workers the issuer has, and the number of platform workers and non-platform workers who received securities; and
  • the number and dollar amount of securities issued to platform workers, both in absolute amounts and as a percentage of total sales under Rule 701 and/or Form S-8, as applicable.

Issuances Treated Like Other Rule 701 Issuances

Similar to other issuances pursuant to Rule 701, these issuances would be excluded from the calculation of outstanding securities under Rule 12g5-1 (e.g., to calculate whether an issuer must register a class of equity securities under Section 12(g)(1)).

Securities sold to platform workers would be included when calculating the amount of securities offered by the issuer, both for determining the maximum threshold amount issuable under Rule 701 and for determining the applicable disclosure requirements of Rule 701(e).

Comment Period

The SEC has requested comments on the proposal within 60 days of the date of its publication in the Federal Register.

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Portable benefits are the future of the gig economy

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The decisive win for Proposition 22 in California on November 3 shows a likely majority of voters—even in the most progressive states—see the value of flexible work that allows people to generate income on demand. That value has only grown amid an ongoing economic crisis that has hammered employment in nearly every industry in New York and left thousands searching for immediate opportunities to earn income.

Rather than repeat California’s tumultuous past year, New York’s leaders should learn from it and deliver what voters are asking for: a bold plan to ensure that independent workers in all sectors can access universal, portable benefits, gaining financial security without losing flexible work.

It was just over a year ago that California passed Assembly Bill 5 into law, which established strict guidance on classifying workers as independent contractors and challenged the ability of app-based platforms to operate. California’s new ballot measure reverses course, allowing app-based drivers to work as independent contractors while extending a range of benefits—and earning the support of workers, tech companies, and voters.

In New York and across the nation, the problem has grown increasingly clear. Far too many workers in the gig economy live in a state of perpetual financial precarity. Few have access to the benefits that typically flow from full-time employment — including health care, worker’s compensation, paid leave, life insurance, retirement savings, and more.

The result is an unacceptable level of risk for workers and their families, and the potential for the further erosion of the middle class.

But faced with so many obstacles to an inclusive economic recovery, tackling this challenge shouldn’t require a knock-down, drag-out fight. Instead, New York policymakers should bring together workers and industry to establish a universal system of portable benefits for the future workforce.

This system would allow New Yorkers to tap into the flexible, income-generating opportunities that gig platforms are providing — even amid a major economic downturn — while ensuring that independent workers have the financial security to thrive.

Under this system, benefits from health care to retirement accounts would move with independent workers from job to job. Freelancers, gig economy workers, and other independent contractors would have the ability to access a wide range of benefits through a regulated exchange, including offerings from established companies, nonprofit organizations, unions, start-ups, and government. As is the case in Oregon and California, employers and platform companies should make substantial financial contributions to at least some of these benefits.

To ensure that lower-wage workers are equally supported, legislators could levy a small surcharge on services rendered through app-based platforms—similar to New York’s current Black Car Fund—with the revenue used to cover any employee contributions to portable benefits for lower-income workers.

New York policymakers are not alone. Recent initiatives in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Philadelphia demonstrate growing support for the portable benefits framework—with Oregon’s approach showing particular promise.

Now New York has the opportunity to fit all of these pieces together into a visionary, integrated system: taking decisive action to rebuild a more inclusive economy while gaining a major competitive advantage over other states where the future of independent work is in doubt.

As California’s experience with AB 5 and now Proposition 22 makes clear, the most effective path forward is to create systems that support the financial security of independent workers — not limit their existence.

Winston C. Fisher is co-chair of New York City’s Regional Economic Development Council. Eli Dvorkin is the editorial and policy director for the New York City-based Center for an Urban Future.

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Comprehensive Report on Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market 2020 | Size, Growth, Demand, Opportunities & Forecast To 2026

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Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market research report is the new statistical data source added by A2Z Market Research.

“Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market is growing at a High CAGR during the forecast period 2020-2026. The increasing interest of the individuals in this industry is that the major reason for the expansion of this market”.

Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market research is an intelligence report with meticulous efforts undertaken to study the right and valuable information. The data which has been looked upon is done considering both, the existing top players and the upcoming competitors. Business strategies of the key players and the new entering market industries are studied in detail. Well explained SWOT analysis, revenue share and contact information are shared in this report analysis.

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Top Key Players Profiled in this report are: 

Couchsurfing, Lyft, Uber, Door Dash, Airbnb, Uber, Postmates, GoGoGrandparent, BlaBlaCar, Airbnb, Upwork, Task Rabbit, Fiverr, Lyft, SilverNest, Zipcar, Rover

The key questions answered in this report:

  1. What will be the Market Size and Growth Rate in the forecast year?
  2. What are the Key Factors driving Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market?
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  5. What are the Trending Factors influencing the market shares?
  6. What are the Key Outcomes of Porter’s five forces model?
  7. Which are the Global Opportunities for Expanding the Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market?

Various factors are responsible for the market’s growth trajectory, which are studied at length in the report. In addition, the report lists down the restraints that are posing threat to the global Gig Economy and Sharing Economy market. It also gauges the bargaining power of suppliers and buyers, threat from new entrants and product substitute, and the degree of competition prevailing in the market. The influence of the latest government guidelines is also analyzed in detail in the report. It studies the Gig Economy and Sharing Economy market’s trajectory between forecast periods.

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Global Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market Segmentation:

Market Segmentation by Type:

Gig Economy
Sharing Economy

Market Segmentation by Application:

Shared private car
Shared private residence
Independent contractor
Freelancers

Regions Covered in the Global Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market Report 2020:
• The Middle East and Africa (GCC Countries and Egypt)
• North America (the United States, Mexico, and Canada)
• South America (Brazil etc.)
• Europe (Turkey, Germany, Russia UK, Italy, France, etc.)
• Asia-Pacific (Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Australia)

The report provides insights on the following pointers:

  1. Market Penetration: Comprehensive information on the product portfolios of the top players in the Gig Economy and Sharing Economy market.
  2. Product Development/Innovation: Detailed insights on the upcoming technologies, R&D activities, and product launches in the market.
  3. Competitive Assessment: In-depth assessment of the market strategies, geographic and business segments of the leading players in the market.
  4. Market Development: Comprehensive information about emerging markets. This report analyzes the market for various segments across geographies.
  5. Market Diversification: Exhaustive information about new products, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments in the Gig Economy and Sharing Economy market.

Table of Contents

Global Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market Research Report 2020 – 2026

Chapter 1 Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market Overview

Chapter 2 Global Economic Impact on Industry

Chapter 3 Global Market Competition by Manufacturers

Chapter 4 Global Production, Revenue (Value) by Region

Chapter 5 Global Supply (Production), Consumption, Export, Import by Regions

Chapter 6 Global Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Type

Chapter 7 Global Market Analysis by Application

Chapter 8 Manufacturing Cost Analysis

Chapter 9 Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers

Chapter 10 Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders

Chapter 11 Market Effect Factors Analysis

Chapter 12 Global Gig Economy and Sharing Economy Market Forecast

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