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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Liberty’s Jerry Falwell Jr. apologizes for tweet, director of diversity resigns – Washington Post

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The images were intended to mock the mask requirement implemented by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who nearly resigned from his office last year amid revelations that the racist photo had been featured on his medical school yearbook page.

But it upset many of the African American students, staff and alumni at Liberty, which was founded in Lynchburg, Va., in 1971 by Falwell’s father, Jerry Falwell Sr., and is one of the largest Christian universities in the world.

LeeQuan McLaurin, who began as a student at Liberty in 2012 and has worked there since, resigned from his position as director of diversity retention last week. He said in an email that Falwell’s tweet on May 27 was a tipping point of larger racially related problems that he has experienced at the school, which he said have contributed to a drop in Liberty’s residential undergraduate African American population from 10 percent to 4 percent between 2007 and 2018.

“Some draw a direct line between the start of President Falwell’s divisive, insensitive, and unapologetic approach to politics and that drop,” he wrote in the email. Since President Trump’s campaign, Falwell has been one of his most prominent evangelical supporters.

“I actually refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offended some by using the image to make a political point. Based on our long relationships, they uniformly understood this was not my intent, but because it was the result,” Falwell wrote on Twitter. “I have deleted the tweet and apologize for any hurt my effort caused, especially within the African American community.”

Following his apology, Falwell said in an interview that he was unaware of McLaurin’s resignation, as well as the resignation of another black staff member, Keyvon Scott, who was an online admissions counselor.

“I cannot in good faith encourage people to attend a school with racially insensitive leadership and culture,” Scott wrote on Twitter. He could not be reached for comment.

Falwell dismissed staff departures, saying that the university has 9,000 employees. His wife, Becki, added that the school’s human resources department told her that about 35 people stop working for the university each week.

Falwell said he did not know what percentage of residential students at Liberty are African American. Of about 79,000 students enrolled at the university in fall 2018, including students studying on campus and those studying online, 15 percent were black or African American, federal data show.

In the interview, Falwell was dismissive of a letter signed by 35 black alumni who asked him to remove his tweet, saying it was a small percentage among 360,000 graduates of the school.

“The tweet was aimed at the governor,” he said. “It accidentally offended them.”

Christopher House, an online instructor for the university’s school of communications and the arts, also resigned from his position after Falwell’s tweet. House, who is African American, said he likens Falwell’s apology to that of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who recently apologized after his comments about NFL athletes kneeling during the national anthem provoked a firestorm of criticism from fellow players.

“What concrete action will we see to help the recruitment and retention and valuing of black faculty members?” said House, who is also a tenured professor at Ithaca College. “What development of courses or programs will aid in understanding the construction of race and these hurtful images?”

A fourth African American staffer, Thomas Starchia, also resigned in recent days, but it was not clear why, and he could not be reached for comment.

A different Liberty staff member, who is African American and spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared she would lose her job, said Falwell’s tweets were “a cherry on top” of other race-related issues at the school.

“It seemed like once donors said I’m not going to put money into your university, that’s when he says, ‘I’m sorry, I apologize,’ ” she said. “It’s too late!”

Staff members, she said, fear losing their jobs, and faculty do not receive tenure.

“You know how back in the slavery days, black people would disobey? Or they would go against the master? They get whooped for it. They would lose a limb. That limb is you losing your job,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Sit down, shut up and do your job.’ You lose your job, lose your benefits.”

As director of diversity retention, McLaurin was responsible for retaining underrepresented student populations, overseeing cultural awareness for events honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

McLaurin said the diversity office was moved from a prominent spot in the Montview Student Union, where the office had an overabundance of traffic, to a smaller and less accessible space in Montview. Then in April, it was relocated to a space too small to host events, in an area that is rarely frequented by his target student demographic.

“DIRT Talks” that his office sponsored, on topics such as immigration, the #MeToo movement and general discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion, were eliminated, McLaurin said.

In his resignation letter, McLaurin took issue with Greg Dowell, Liberty’s chief diversity officer, who is also black, saying that he has “worked to actively denigrate and work against” minority populations. Dowell said that “was way out of line and off base,” citing his record of working for the school on diversity issues from 1989 to 2000 and returning in 2018.

McLaurin posted an image stating “black lives matter” on official campus communications social media outlets, and Dowell said he had him take it down, encouraging him to put it on his personal page.

“From the university’s standpoint, Black Lives Matter means different things to different people,” Dowell said in an interview Monday. “I don’t want to speak for everyone.”

Nick Anderson contributed to this report.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home ‘I don’t even know how the dominoes fell’: Gripped by recession, some businesses evolve — but struggle to see a path to full recovery – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

But as the Washington region begins to reopen, Ellis is left with far more questions than answers: When, or whether, bookings will return. How to balance the safety of her waitstaff against their need for paychecks. The capacity of her suppliers, and by extension, Avalon, to hold on long enough to keep their delicate ecosystem intact.

“You can feel better if you’re not going through it alone,” Ellis said. “But, also, it’s horrifying that the whole world is affected by something you can’t control.”

Avalon, which catered roughly 1,000 events a year before the pandemic hit, occupies only a sliver of the economy. Yet the caterer and its network of workers and suppliers show how the coronavirus recession cascaded from one company to the next, and why charting a path forward is so fraught. Each canceled catering job rippled through a network comprising a 400-member waitstaff and dozens of vendors, including food distributors, a florist nearby, a bartender’s family in Lorton and a cheese farm in the rolling hills of rural North Carolina.

As states begin to reopen, companies and workers face an economy in transition. Supply chains that once served large commercial customers, with profits tied to scale, now pin their sales hopes on individuals. Workers who have spent years in food and hospitality contemplate a future with far fewer opportunities. Small businesses that rely on bringing people together are studying ways to keep them apart.

Ellis’s go-to florist is working directly with overseas farms to fill holes in its supply chain. One of Avalon’s cheese vendors is marketing its chevre online so that smaller purchases might offset the loss of big-ticket bulk orders. A longtime employee, whose wife and son also recently lost jobs, might have to seek work outside the food industry. Ellis is mulling whether to place plexiglass dividers between party guests.

How the U.S. economy reignites will depend on countless ecosystems like Avalon’s adapting — and on the risks they’re willing to take.

“Reevaluating what you’re doing and how you operate [are] matters of survival,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM. “Supply chains that support that portion of the economy are going to be fundamentally altered.”

History doesn’t offer a playbook. Economics dictated how past recessions came to an end. Now, absent a vaccine or basic public trust, there’s no guide for what it will take to put these links back together.

“I don’t even know how the dominoes fell anymore,” Ellis said, “because, boy, they started falling fast.”

The first signs

For Avalon Caterers, the first hint of trouble came in late February. As the deadly coronavirus was tearing through Europe, a client in Spain who had been meticulously planning a spring event in Washington no longer needed Avalon to track down specialty gin glasses. She wanted to go over cancellation policies.

“They were already seeing the real truth of what was happening before we were,” Ellis said. “They were seeing things on the ground that seemed a little extreme to us.”

Five miles from Avalon’s offices in Alexandria, Helen Olivia Flowers was coming off its most successful start to spring when co-owner Rachel Gang turned her focus to her next big event: a “who’s who” showcase of the Washington events scene on March 13. Since buying the company seven years ago, Gang and her husband have tripled business and grown the walk-in flower shop into one of the top event florists in the D.C. area.

Within a few days, Helen Olivia’s clients began to drop away. A five-star hotel in the District suspended its account. Weddings and corporate gatherings slated through May disappeared. By the end of the week, the industry showcase felt more akin to a support group.

“By the time we gathered on the 13th, they set up an industry panel to talk about how to do cancellations moving forward, what bank loans were available and how we were going to pivot,” Gang said.

Ellis, too, was being inundated with cancellations. Spring and summer events evaporated. Fall bookings followed.

Avalon has survived downturns: After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was little need for event planning, other than funerals. The business didn’t find its bearings again until the holidays. Past recessions showed Ellis that catering is the “first to feel the effects, and the last to come back,” because “people are spending their extra money on us, not their basic money.”

Like at other large caterers, the freezers and refrigerators at Avalon were well stocked. But with no one to serve, Avalon’s sous chef divvied up the perishables and made care packages labeled with his co-workers’ names.

Horacio Zamora, Ellis’s business partner and Avalon’s head chef, was reluctant to hand out food that could keep for a few more months. Powering down the refrigerators and freezers felt too much like giving up.

Zamora had come far since immigrating from Chile about 40 years ago, working his way up from cooking gigs on cruise ships to serving presidents and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. His wife and five grandchildren, ages 5 to 20, depended on him.

“Me and my wife, we are immigrants,” Zamora said. “We have seen the poor side of life. If you’re going to have to tie your belt tighter, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to cry — I’ve been there before.”

Jhonny Acha, who worked at Avalon for eight years, took home a bag of fruit, cheeses, breads and prepared appetizers. Soon, he and his wife and their son, who also lost their jobs, would apply for unemployment benefits. On his last trip to Avalon in mid-March, Acha figured he’d be back by Easter.

With each new cancellation, Ellis reached out to vendors and venues. “I would call to say, ‘I’m so sorry to do this,’ and they would say, ‘This is happening all over,’” she recalled.

Avalon’s last booking, on March 14, was for a couple who’d moved up their wedding and settled for a small ceremony at home. Avalon prepared beef, salmon and potatoes for 15 people and dropped off the meal with detailed heating instructions.

Ellis had to ask one of her workers to come back to make the delivery. Avalon had shut down two days before.

‘It’s different work’

As Avalon packed up, one of its longtime distributors faced its own seismic shift.

International Gourmet Foods’ commercial clients — hotels, restaurants, caterers and small retailers — saw cancellations pour in as the country’s economy effectively shut down.

“Customers who’d placed an order on Sunday for Monday were calling to say, ‘Don’t worry about dropping it off,’” company president Christine Di Benigno said.

Suddenly, IGF’s customers had new needs. As restaurants tried to stay afloat by offering groceries and takeout, they depended on suppliers such as IGF to pivot with them. That pivot included asking existing vendors whether they carried tomato sauce as opposed to canned tomatoes, or other goods that would be less labor-intensive to handle in the kitchen.

“It wasn’t a question of having zero items; it was about what items started moving,” Di Benigno said. “Disinfectant moved like crazy. Toilet paper moved like crazy. There was a lot more scrambling for to-go options and containers.”

One of IGF’s suppliers, Goat Lady Dairy, whose cheeses often appeared on Avalon’s menus, needed to regroup, too. From Grays Chapel, N.C. — a town so small it doesn’t have a post office — owner Carrie Bradds was contending with a last-minute cancellation by one of the dairy’s largest distributors: $20,000 worth of specially made tubs and logs of fresh chevre, plus other highly perishable products.

Needing to act quickly, Goat Lady expanded its online store from a few gift boxes to its entire cheese line.

“It’s different work,” Bradds said. “It used to be when I shipped, customers would want a full wheel of raw cow milk Gouda. Now I’m having to go package it and sell it eight ounces at a time.”

When Rachel Gang’s local wholesalers began shutting down in mid-March, the florist had to “set up entirely new supply chains.” On top of buying directly from farms in California, Helen Olivia opened air cargo and airfreight accounts, plus one with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to source flowers from Canada, the Netherlands and South America. She now angles for cargo space on commercial carriers, anxiously tracking her precious petals through each precarious leg.

“I’ve never worked so hard to make $100 in my life,” she said. “The average sale now is $100 to $150 per arrangement — it’s not the $10,000 events we’re used to. And the work that’s required to earn that $150 is 20 times more.”

Sales are down 50 percent, Gang said, a reality that could be worse if not for Helen Olivia’s prolific use of social media, complete with videos and do-it-yourself guides.

“The only thing that’s kept business funneling through our shop is being brutally honest and raw with people about what it’s like being a small business,” Gang said.

The foggy path ahead

No matter the industry, the question of when to ramp back up is just as vexing as the question of how. Past recessions — such as the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage crisis — aren’t the best guides. Recovery relied on retail shopping kicking into gear along with spending on durable goods, like cars and home furnishings, as well as entertainment.

The coronavirus recession continues to forge its own terrible path: More than 40 million layoffs, well-known brands forced into bankruptcy, economic growth slashed. And there is growing dread that the pain could stretch into next year.

Now, recovery hinges on zapping a microscopic pathogen and giving millions of Americans not just jobs, but also the confidence to eat out or make firm wedding plans.

“Nobody wants guests to be coming down with covid 14 days after an event,” Gang said. “There’s a sense of responsibility. Even if the government green-lights us, I don’t know that we’re there yet.”

Gang said Mother’s Day arrangements gave her shop, and the industry as a whole, a much-needed lift, though individual bouquets can’t make up for the long-term loss of hotel lobbies and banquet halls. Now, flower shops such as Helen Olivia are staring down the summer season and wondering what comes next.

“We’ve been hustling, hustling, hustling … but people don’t spend the way they do in spring in the summer,” Gang said. “We don’t have this nest egg.”

At Goat Lady, Bradds expects the next two months to bring serious cash flow problems. Distributors typically pay for orders a month or so after receiving invoices. Soon, the farm’s last bulk orders will have been paid for.

Before the recession, Goat Lady sold $30,000 to $40,000 worth of cheese each week. Since the downturn, weekly sales have not surpassed $5,000. Business is down 90 percent overall.

“We’ve been fine the last couple of months because the distributors that owed us were still paying,” Bradds said. “But now they don’t owe us anything.”

Bradds said her future sales are most dependent on North Carolina restaurants reopening. Still, the ones that can afford to reopen are running at slashed capacity, and many wineries and bars are still closed.

Goat Lady has picked up new customers at farmers markets across the state. And while those sales may not bring in much cash, Bradds hopes they will continue as shoppers try to buy locally and avoid stores and restaurants.

“This whole thing is going to change the landscape of our food system,” Bradds said. “In some ways it’s bad. In some ways it’s not.”

The variables widen further up the supply chain. At IGF, Di Benigno isn’t just counting on steady supplies of food products. Scaling up the operation again will also depend on reliable delivery systems, comprehensive cleaning procedures and enough demand from major customers.

“Is there one specific rung [that matters most]? No,” she said. “The ramp-up is almost as difficult as the slowdown. … We’re all interdependent.”

Avalon’s landlord suspended rent until Oct. 1, but even then, Ellis doesn’t know how the catering company will make up for months of zero business. She’s adding a provision to Avalon’s contract protecting the caterer from liability in case venues, clients or vendors don’t take enough precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Decades in catering didn’t prepare her for this, she says. How can table settings be arranged six feet apart? Should clients have to wear masks or go through the same hand-washing procedures as waiters and chefs? Ellis recently received a pitch for $180 plexiglass panels to separate guests at tables. How many could she even afford?

Those are the business questions. Ellis’s heart sinks when she considers the answers.

“The folks I work with may be more than eager, in fact, desperate, to go back to work,” she said. “They’ll be ready. But what happens to our employees? What am I asking them to do, really? Put themselves in harm’s way?”

The last week of May, Zamora, Ellis’s business partner, went back to Avalon’s kitchen to pack up the remaining goods and turn off the fridge and freezer. He starts drawing Social Security in a few weeks, and while he insists on keeping his spirits up, those checks won’t be enough to get by. Zamora’s family has been shopping at cheaper grocery stores, opting for simple soups and rice dishes over cuts of meat.

If Avalon’s bookings don’t return this year, Zamora will have to start looking for other work. The region may be reopening, he said, “but we don’t know if the phone is going to ring.”

“The only thing I know is how to cook,” Zamora said. “I can do it very well. But hospitality is not a business right now.”

It took two months and multiple applications before Acha’s jobless claim was approved. His wife and son are still without work. And in a few months, Acha said, he may have to look beyond the industry he knows so well. Maybe there’s work in construction or deliveries — so long as it keeps him safe from the virus that shut this ecosystem down.

“The more time that goes by, you get to the point of thinking, what am I going to do in the future?” Acha said. “You want to keep your hopes up and see if this is going to go away, or if it will take longer. It’s not a good feeling.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

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Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home ‘I don’t even know how the dominoes fell’: Gripped by recession, some businesses evolve — but struggle to see a path to full recovery – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

But as the Washington region begins to reopen, Ellis is left with far more questions than answers: When, or whether, bookings will return. How to balance the safety of her waitstaff against their need for paychecks. The capacity of her suppliers, and by extension, Avalon, to hold on long enough to keep their delicate ecosystem intact.

“You can feel better if you’re not going through it alone,” Ellis said. “But, also, it’s horrifying that the whole world is affected by something you can’t control.”

Avalon, which catered roughly 1,000 events a year before the pandemic hit, occupies only a sliver of the economy. Yet the caterer and its network of workers and suppliers show how the coronavirus recession cascaded from one company to the next, and why charting a path forward is so fraught. Each canceled catering job rippled through a network comprising a 400-member waitstaff and dozens of vendors, including food distributors, a florist nearby, a bartender’s family in Lorton and a cheese farm in the rolling hills of rural North Carolina.

As states begin to reopen, companies and workers face an economy in transition. Supply chains that once served large commercial customers, with profits tied to scale, now pin their sales hopes on individuals. Workers who have spent years in food and hospitality contemplate a future with far fewer opportunities. Small businesses that rely on bringing people together are studying ways to keep them apart.

Ellis’s go-to florist is working directly with overseas farms to fill holes in its supply chain. One of Avalon’s cheese vendors is marketing its chevre online so that smaller purchases might offset the loss of big-ticket bulk orders. A longtime employee, whose wife and son also recently lost jobs, might have to seek work outside the food industry. Ellis is mulling whether to place plexiglass dividers between party guests.

How the U.S. economy reignites will depend on countless ecosystems like Avalon’s adapting — and on the risks they’re willing to take.

“Reevaluating what you’re doing and how you operate [are] matters of survival,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM. “Supply chains that support that portion of the economy are going to be fundamentally altered.”

History doesn’t offer a playbook. Economics dictated how past recessions came to an end. Now, absent a vaccine or basic public trust, there’s no guide for what it will take to put these links back together.

“I don’t even know how the dominoes fell anymore,” Ellis said, “because, boy, they started falling fast.”

The first signs

For Avalon Caterers, the first hint of trouble came in late February. As the deadly coronavirus was tearing through Europe, a client in Spain who had been meticulously planning a spring event in Washington no longer needed Avalon to track down specialty gin glasses. She wanted to go over cancellation policies.

“They were already seeing the real truth of what was happening before we were,” Ellis said. “They were seeing things on the ground that seemed a little extreme to us.”

Five miles from Avalon’s offices in Alexandria, Helen Olivia Flowers was coming off its most successful start to spring when co-owner Rachel Gang turned her focus to her next big event: a “who’s who” showcase of the Washington events scene on March 13. Since buying the company seven years ago, Gang and her husband have tripled business and grown the walk-in flower shop into one of the top event florists in the D.C. area.

Within a few days, Helen Olivia’s clients began to drop away. A five-star hotel in the District suspended its account. Weddings and corporate gatherings slated through May disappeared. By the end of the week, the industry showcase felt more akin to a support group.

“By the time we gathered on the 13th, they set up an industry panel to talk about how to do cancellations moving forward, what bank loans were available and how we were going to pivot,” Gang said.

Ellis, too, was being inundated with cancellations. Spring and summer events evaporated. Fall bookings followed.

Avalon has survived downturns: After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was little need for event planning, other than funerals. The business didn’t find its bearings again until the holidays. Past recessions showed Ellis that catering is the “first to feel the effects, and the last to come back,” because “people are spending their extra money on us, not their basic money.”

Like at other large caterers, the freezers and refrigerators at Avalon were well stocked. But with no one to serve, Avalon’s sous chef divvied up the perishables and made care packages labeled with his co-workers’ names.

Horacio Zamora, Ellis’s business partner and Avalon’s head chef, was reluctant to hand out food that could keep for a few more months. Powering down the refrigerators and freezers felt too much like giving up.

Zamora had come far since immigrating from Chile about 40 years ago, working his way up from cooking gigs on cruise ships to serving presidents and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. His wife and five grandchildren, ages 5 to 20, depended on him.

“Me and my wife, we are immigrants,” Zamora said. “We have seen the poor side of life. If you’re going to have to tie your belt tighter, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to cry — I’ve been there before.”

Jhonny Acha, who worked at Avalon for eight years, took home a bag of fruit, cheeses, breads and prepared appetizers. Soon, he and his wife and their son, who also lost their jobs, would apply for unemployment benefits. On his last trip to Avalon in mid-March, Acha figured he’d be back by Easter.

With each new cancellation, Ellis reached out to vendors and venues. “I would call to say, ‘I’m so sorry to do this,’ and they would say, ‘This is happening all over,’” she recalled.

Avalon’s last booking, on March 14, was for a couple who’d moved up their wedding and settled for a small ceremony at home. Avalon prepared beef, salmon and potatoes for 15 people and dropped off the meal with detailed heating instructions.

Ellis had to ask one of her workers to come back to make the delivery. Avalon had shut down two days before.

‘It’s different work’

As Avalon packed up, one of its longtime distributors faced its own seismic shift.

International Gourmet Foods’ commercial clients — hotels, restaurants, caterers and small retailers — saw cancellations pour in as the country’s economy effectively shut down.

“Customers who’d placed an order on Sunday for Monday were calling to say, ‘Don’t worry about dropping it off,’” company president Christine Di Benigno said.

Suddenly, IGF’s customers had new needs. As restaurants tried to stay afloat by offering groceries and takeout, they depended on suppliers such as IGF to pivot with them. That pivot included asking existing vendors whether they carried tomato sauce as opposed to canned tomatoes, or other goods that would be less labor-intensive to handle in the kitchen.

“It wasn’t a question of having zero items; it was about what items started moving,” Di Benigno said. “Disinfectant moved like crazy. Toilet paper moved like crazy. There was a lot more scrambling for to-go options and containers.”

One of IGF’s suppliers, Goat Lady Dairy, whose cheeses often appeared on Avalon’s menus, needed to regroup, too. From Grays Chapel, N.C. — a town so small it doesn’t have a post office — owner Carrie Bradds was contending with a last-minute cancellation by one of the dairy’s largest distributors: $20,000 worth of specially made tubs and logs of fresh chevre, plus other highly perishable products.

Needing to act quickly, Goat Lady expanded its online store from a few gift boxes to its entire cheese line.

“It’s different work,” Bradds said. “It used to be when I shipped, customers would want a full wheel of raw cow milk Gouda. Now I’m having to go package it and sell it eight ounces at a time.”

When Rachel Gang’s local wholesalers began shutting down in mid-March, the florist had to “set up entirely new supply chains.” On top of buying directly from farms in California, Helen Olivia opened air cargo and airfreight accounts, plus one with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to source flowers from Canada, the Netherlands and South America. She now angles for cargo space on commercial carriers, anxiously tracking her precious petals through each precarious leg.

“I’ve never worked so hard to make $100 in my life,” she said. “The average sale now is $100 to $150 per arrangement — it’s not the $10,000 events we’re used to. And the work that’s required to earn that $150 is 20 times more.”

Sales are down 50 percent, Gang said, a reality that could be worse if not for Helen Olivia’s prolific use of social media, complete with videos and do-it-yourself guides.

“The only thing that’s kept business funneling through our shop is being brutally honest and raw with people about what it’s like being a small business,” Gang said.

The foggy path ahead

No matter the industry, the question of when to ramp back up is just as vexing as the question of how. Past recessions — such as the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage crisis — aren’t the best guides. Recovery relied on retail shopping kicking into gear along with spending on durable goods, like cars and home furnishings, as well as entertainment.

The coronavirus recession continues to forge its own terrible path: More than 40 million layoffs, well-known brands forced into bankruptcy, economic growth slashed. And there is growing dread that the pain could stretch into next year.

Now, recovery hinges on zapping a microscopic pathogen and giving millions of Americans not just jobs, but also the confidence to eat out or make firm wedding plans.

“Nobody wants guests to be coming down with covid 14 days after an event,” Gang said. “There’s a sense of responsibility. Even if the government green-lights us, I don’t know that we’re there yet.”

Gang said Mother’s Day arrangements gave her shop, and the industry as a whole, a much-needed lift, though individual bouquets can’t make up for the long-term loss of hotel lobbies and banquet halls. Now, flower shops such as Helen Olivia are staring down the summer season and wondering what comes next.

“We’ve been hustling, hustling, hustling … but people don’t spend the way they do in spring in the summer,” Gang said. “We don’t have this nest egg.”

At Goat Lady, Bradds expects the next two months to bring serious cash flow problems. Distributors typically pay for orders a month or so after receiving invoices. Soon, the farm’s last bulk orders will have been paid for.

Before the recession, Goat Lady sold $30,000 to $40,000 worth of cheese each week. Since the downturn, weekly sales have not surpassed $5,000. Business is down 90 percent overall.

“We’ve been fine the last couple of months because the distributors that owed us were still paying,” Bradds said. “But now they don’t owe us anything.”

Bradds said her future sales are most dependent on North Carolina restaurants reopening. Still, the ones that can afford to reopen are running at slashed capacity, and many wineries and bars are still closed.

Goat Lady has picked up new customers at farmers markets across the state. And while those sales may not bring in much cash, Bradds hopes they will continue as shoppers try to buy locally and avoid stores and restaurants.

“This whole thing is going to change the landscape of our food system,” Bradds said. “In some ways it’s bad. In some ways it’s not.”

The variables widen further up the supply chain. At IGF, Di Benigno isn’t just counting on steady supplies of food products. Scaling up the operation again will also depend on reliable delivery systems, comprehensive cleaning procedures and enough demand from major customers.

“Is there one specific rung [that matters most]? No,” she said. “The ramp-up is almost as difficult as the slowdown. … We’re all interdependent.”

Avalon’s landlord suspended rent until Oct. 1, but even then, Ellis doesn’t know how the catering company will make up for months of zero business. She’s adding a provision to Avalon’s contract protecting the caterer from liability in case venues, clients or vendors don’t take enough precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Decades in catering didn’t prepare her for this, she says. How can table settings be arranged six feet apart? Should clients have to wear masks or go through the same hand-washing procedures as waiters and chefs? Ellis recently received a pitch for $180 plexiglass panels to separate guests at tables. How many could she even afford?

Those are the business questions. Ellis’s heart sinks when she considers the answers.

“The folks I work with may be more than eager, in fact, desperate, to go back to work,” she said. “They’ll be ready. But what happens to our employees? What am I asking them to do, really? Put themselves in harm’s way?”

The last week of May, Zamora, Ellis’s business partner, went back to Avalon’s kitchen to pack up the remaining goods and turn off the fridge and freezer. He starts drawing Social Security in a few weeks, and while he insists on keeping his spirits up, those checks won’t be enough to get by. Zamora’s family has been shopping at cheaper grocery stores, opting for simple soups and rice dishes over cuts of meat.

If Avalon’s bookings don’t return this year, Zamora will have to start looking for other work. The region may be reopening, he said, “but we don’t know if the phone is going to ring.”

“The only thing I know is how to cook,” Zamora said. “I can do it very well. But hospitality is not a business right now.”

It took two months and multiple applications before Acha’s jobless claim was approved. His wife and son are still without work. And in a few months, Acha said, he may have to look beyond the industry he knows so well. Maybe there’s work in construction or deliveries — so long as it keeps him safe from the virus that shut this ecosystem down.

“The more time that goes by, you get to the point of thinking, what am I going to do in the future?” Acha said. “You want to keep your hopes up and see if this is going to go away, or if it will take longer. It’s not a good feeling.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

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Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

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Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libro.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called Onfleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libra.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called OnFleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Small businesses turned to technology to survive the pandemic. But it may not be enough. – The Washington Post

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Three months later, the store, founded by author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, is selling physical books online through a service called Bookshop and selling audio books with a company called Libra.fm. It’s hosting Zoom happy hours, wellness talks, and virtual events with authors. And in the past few weeks, it has seen a surge in online business from people wanting to support black-owned bookstores and read more about anti-racism. Still, the bookstore will largely rely on loans and a Go Fund Me campaign to survive until it reopens.

“You can always get the books cheaper on Amazon, faster on Amazon,” general manager Justin Moore said. “Customers are going out of their way to not only purchase books from independent bookstores themselves, but to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well. It’s been very much a community-led initiative.”

Despite a widespread shift to online shopping, nearly 90 percent of U.S. commerce takes place in the physical world. Small businesses, including restaurants, bookstores and yoga studios, have long earned their keep through brick-and-mortar operations built on attracting customers to come in, gather, mingle and spend money.

But the pandemic has changed that, forcing businesses to embrace technology to move online. Many major cities have some form of lockdown in place, and the threat of another round of shutdowns looms as covid-19 cases spike in some areas. One in five small businesses reported having to temporarily close down since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As shoppers in some areas are hesitant to return to their everyday habits, and filling a room for a book reading or exercise class is unthinkable for many, small businesses such as Uncle Bobbie’s are hoping that a transition to online sales might help keep them afloat as they prepare to reopen.

“We would never want to replace that experience of when you walk into our store,” Moore said. “You come, you stay, you talk, you meet some friends, you have some fun conversation.”

In response to the shutdowns, restaurants closed dining areas and scraped by on pickup and delivery ordered via apps. Small shops that sell physical goods such as clothes and books figured out ways to list products online and in some cases created websites for the first time. Stores that still sell from physical locations are changing how they get paid — moving away from riskier cash and even physical credit card payment systems to prepaid invoices and contactless options. Technology adoptions that were expected to take years happened in weeks.

“Overnight, doing business in person was not really an option anymore, so everyone scrambled to get online,” said David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at mobile payments company Square. “We saw a three-year adoption cycle get compressed to three weeks.”

Still, it may not be enough. Many small businesses were already struggling as Walmart and Amazon have become go-to destinations for shoppers. OpenTable predicts one in four restaurants won’t reopen. More than 100,000 small businesses have shut down permanently since March, according to a study from the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

According to research firm eMarketer, sales at physical stores in the U.S. will drop 14 percent, or $4.2 trillion, this year, and it could take five years for the industry to bounce back completely. Online sales, while up, aren’t enough to make up for that.

Small business owners, in particular, said it’s not enough to make up for their closed physical retail spaces. Online sales are typically less profitable, in part because of costs for fulfillment and delivery, plus returns. Instead, many are relying on loans, donations and an upswell in public support.

“We see Gen Z and the young people put their money where their mouths is,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. “Now people think of the entire transaction of what they’re paying for. That there’s value in sustainable transactions, in supporting the local community, that’s over and above the value of the goods.”

Many businesses have had to get creative to take advantage of that sentiment.

In Oakland, Calif., wine bar and store Ordinaire realized listing its extensive inventory of natural wine online wasn’t practical. Instead, it added an option for customers to fill out a form with their desired number of bottles, a budget, and what style wine they are “in the mood for.” The store’s staff picks the best wine for that order and sends an online invoice to the customer.

“It’s kind of how we always operate as a wine shop. If someone comes in we have a dialogue and conversation about what they’re looking for,” said Alex Leopold, a manager there. The wine bar has seen a slight bump in retail sales, but not enough to make up for the closure. It plans to keep the online options after the bar and store reopen.

Stepping into the void, tech companies are coming up with new tools for small businesses. Square is best known for its credit card reader that plugs into mobile phones, but it now offers tools for website-building and invoicing. When the pandemic started, the company added new options to its software such as curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

“We saw a lot of people get online in two days, three days,” said Square’s Rusenko. “Now that some areas are reopening, they’re actually able to manage both.”

Bookshop, the site Uncle Bobbie’s and more than 700 independent bookstores use for sales and fulfillment, launched in February. It sold $50,000 worth of books that first month. Now it averages about $250,000 in a day and has gone as high as $500,000 in a day, according to founder Andy Hunter. That includes a significant boost from the increased interest in books about systemic racism.

The site also handles the physical work of selling and shipping books. Independent bookstores set up a page on Bookshop.org with the titles they usually sell, and Bookshop works with a large national wholesaler to package and ship them directly. The bookstore itself doesn’t have to touch the books or worry about inventory, but it pockets about 30 percent of the cover price. Bookshop also has options for stores that want to handle their own inventory. Hunter says the company doesn’t take a cut of the profit from those sales, instead making its money on affiliate sales or people buying directly from its main site.

Like many small businesses, Uncle Bobbie’s was concerned about its employees when it shut down. Moore, the manager, set up a GoFundMe to help the store’s 18 workers get by, and he applied for various grants and loans. The GoFundMe has surpassed its $50,000 goal and the loans including the paycheck protection program are available. The online sales have been set up for only a few weeks are helping tide the business over. The store is planning to reopen soon.

“We all want to kind of return to the normalcy of human interaction; we’re just not going to rush back into that,” Moore said.

Others are creating entirely new websites. Shopify, which offers prebuilt websites to sell products online, said it had a 53 percent increase in people creating new online stores in April compared to March.

Asian-Veggies.com is one of them. Joseph Boo created the site in April to help his dad’s wholesale vegetable business, selling produce that’s difficult to find, such as snow-pea shoots, yu choi, and watercress.

His father, Kian Tai Boo, has sold vegetables in New York City for more than 28 years, most recently as a wholesaler, using pen and paper to track changing prices. When the pandemic hit, 90 percent of his revenue was gone. His company, Fresh Goods, was left with a warehouse in Queens filled with more than 70 types of fruit, vegetables and dry goods popular in Asian cooking.

Joseph Boo used Shopify to make the website, software called OnFleet for the delivery logistics, his iPhone for product shots, UpWork to hire help, and Instagram and Facebook for marketing. In the past two months, Asian Veggies has had roughly 1,200 orders and brought in more than $100,000, enough to help the business but not replace its income entirely. They see it as a profitable addition they will keep running after the pandemic and are already looking for more warehouses to expand.

One challenge with selling vegetables virtually is gaining the trust of customers who are used to carefully picking out their own. While it might have been impossible to build that customer base before the pandemic, the limitations of closed stores and new rules about touching vegetables while shopping has left them with fewer options, and Joseph Boo says many are pleasantly surprised.

“For the older generation, they want to feel the veggies before they buy it. They need it to talk to them and say ‘I’m the one,’ ” Boo said. “This 100 percent would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t happened.”

Not all closed stores have physical goods they can sell. Many businesses and professions have moved to offering paid versions of their usual services online. On Zoom and FaceTime, physical trainers are running clients through drills, hairstylists are talking people through cutting and dying their own hair, and therapists are fulfilling the increased need for their services on video.

Gerrae Simons Miller has owned Philadelphia’s Mellow Massage & Yoga for 12 years and has 22 employees. The business was primarily focused on the massages, but a few weeks into the pandemic she offered online yoga classes over Zoom. She’s considering adding paid telehealth-like appointments to guide people through practicing massage therapy on themselves and releasing pressure points.

Video classes don’t bring in enough money to make up for what the company is losing.

Miller has worked hard to secure loans to keep her business afloat. City regulations will require her to pay for more extensive cleaning while operating at half her usual capacity for a period of time.

“For me, the online classes are not going to get me to the other side, they’re a way to keep me connected to community,” Simons Miller said.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home ‘I don’t even know how the dominoes fell’: Gripped by recession, some businesses evolve — but struggle to see a path to full recovery – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

But as the Washington region begins to reopen, Ellis is left with far more questions than answers: When, or whether, bookings will return. How to balance the safety of her waitstaff against their need for paychecks. The capacity of her suppliers, and by extension, Avalon, to hold on long enough to keep their delicate ecosystem intact.

“You can feel better if you’re not going through it alone,” Ellis said. “But, also, it’s horrifying that the whole world is affected by something you can’t control.”

Avalon, which catered roughly 1,000 events a year before the pandemic hit, occupies only a sliver of the economy. Yet the caterer and its network of workers and suppliers show how the coronavirus recession cascaded from one company to the next, and why charting a path forward is so fraught. Each canceled catering job rippled through a network comprising a 400-member waitstaff and dozens of vendors, including food distributors, a florist nearby, a bartender’s family in Lorton and a cheese farm in the rolling hills of rural North Carolina.

As states begin to reopen, companies and workers face an economy in transition. Supply chains that once served large commercial customers, with profits tied to scale, now pin their sales hopes on individuals. Workers who have spent years in food and hospitality contemplate a future with far fewer opportunities. Small businesses that rely on bringing people together are studying ways to keep them apart.

Ellis’s go-to florist is working directly with overseas farms to fill holes in its supply chain. One of Avalon’s cheese vendors is marketing its chevre online so that smaller purchases might offset the loss of big-ticket bulk orders. A longtime employee, whose wife and son also recently lost jobs, might have to seek work outside the food industry. Ellis is mulling whether to place plexiglass dividers between party guests.

How the U.S. economy reignites will depend on countless ecosystems like Avalon’s adapting — and on the risks they’re willing to take.

“Reevaluating what you’re doing and how you operate [are] matters of survival,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM. “Supply chains that support that portion of the economy are going to be fundamentally altered.”

History doesn’t offer a playbook. Economics dictated how past recessions came to an end. Now, absent a vaccine or basic public trust, there’s no guide for what it will take to put these links back together.

“I don’t even know how the dominoes fell anymore,” Ellis said, “because, boy, they started falling fast.”

The first signs

For Avalon Caterers, the first hint of trouble came in late February. As the deadly coronavirus was tearing through Europe, a client in Spain who had been meticulously planning a spring event in Washington no longer needed Avalon to track down specialty gin glasses. She wanted to go over cancellation policies.

“They were already seeing the real truth of what was happening before we were,” Ellis said. “They were seeing things on the ground that seemed a little extreme to us.”

Five miles from Avalon’s offices in Alexandria, Helen Olivia Flowers was coming off its most successful start to spring when co-owner Rachel Gang turned her focus to her next big event: a “who’s who” showcase of the Washington events scene on March 13. Since buying the company seven years ago, Gang and her husband have tripled business and grown the walk-in flower shop into one of the top event florists in the D.C. area.

Within a few days, Helen Olivia’s clients began to drop away. A five-star hotel in the District suspended its account. Weddings and corporate gatherings slated through May disappeared. By the end of the week, the industry showcase felt more akin to a support group.

“By the time we gathered on the 13th, they set up an industry panel to talk about how to do cancellations moving forward, what bank loans were available and how we were going to pivot,” Gang said.

Ellis, too, was being inundated with cancellations. Spring and summer events evaporated. Fall bookings followed.

Avalon has survived downturns: After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was little need for event planning, other than funerals. The business didn’t find its bearings again until the holidays. Past recessions showed Ellis that catering is the “first to feel the effects, and the last to come back,” because “people are spending their extra money on us, not their basic money.”

Like at other large caterers, the freezers and refrigerators at Avalon were well stocked. But with no one to serve, Avalon’s sous chef divvied up the perishables and made care packages labeled with his co-workers’ names.

Horacio Zamora, Ellis’s business partner and Avalon’s head chef, was reluctant to hand out food that could keep for a few more months. Powering down the refrigerators and freezers felt too much like giving up.

Zamora had come far since immigrating from Chile about 40 years ago, working his way up from cooking gigs on cruise ships to serving presidents and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. His wife and five grandchildren, ages 5 to 20, depended on him.

“Me and my wife, we are immigrants,” Zamora said. “We have seen the poor side of life. If you’re going to have to tie your belt tighter, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to cry — I’ve been there before.”

Jhonny Acha, who worked at Avalon for eight years, took home a bag of fruit, cheeses, breads and prepared appetizers. Soon, he and his wife and their son, who also lost their jobs, would apply for unemployment benefits. On his last trip to Avalon in mid-March, Acha figured he’d be back by Easter.

With each new cancellation, Ellis reached out to vendors and venues. “I would call to say, ‘I’m so sorry to do this,’ and they would say, ‘This is happening all over,’” she recalled.

Avalon’s last booking, on March 14, was for a couple who’d moved up their wedding and settled for a small ceremony at home. Avalon prepared beef, salmon and potatoes for 15 people and dropped off the meal with detailed heating instructions.

Ellis had to ask one of her workers to come back to make the delivery. Avalon had shut down two days before.

‘It’s different work’

As Avalon packed up, one of its longtime distributors faced its own seismic shift.

International Gourmet Foods’ commercial clients — hotels, restaurants, caterers and small retailers — saw cancellations pour in as the country’s economy effectively shut down.

“Customers who’d placed an order on Sunday for Monday were calling to say, ‘Don’t worry about dropping it off,’” company president Christine Di Benigno said.

Suddenly, IGF’s customers had new needs. As restaurants tried to stay afloat by offering groceries and takeout, they depended on suppliers such as IGF to pivot with them. That pivot included asking existing vendors whether they carried tomato sauce as opposed to canned tomatoes, or other goods that would be less labor-intensive to handle in the kitchen.

“It wasn’t a question of having zero items; it was about what items started moving,” Di Benigno said. “Disinfectant moved like crazy. Toilet paper moved like crazy. There was a lot more scrambling for to-go options and containers.”

One of IGF’s suppliers, Goat Lady Dairy, whose cheeses often appeared on Avalon’s menus, needed to regroup, too. From Grays Chapel, N.C. — a town so small it doesn’t have a post office — owner Carrie Bradds was contending with a last-minute cancellation by one of the dairy’s largest distributors: $20,000 worth of specially made tubs and logs of fresh chevre, plus other highly perishable products.

Needing to act quickly, Goat Lady expanded its online store from a few gift boxes to its entire cheese line.

“It’s different work,” Bradds said. “It used to be when I shipped, customers would want a full wheel of raw cow milk Gouda. Now I’m having to go package it and sell it eight ounces at a time.”

When Rachel Gang’s local wholesalers began shutting down in mid-March, the florist had to “set up entirely new supply chains.” On top of buying directly from farms in California, Helen Olivia opened air cargo and airfreight accounts, plus one with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to source flowers from Canada, the Netherlands and South America. She now angles for cargo space on commercial carriers, anxiously tracking her precious petals through each precarious leg.

“I’ve never worked so hard to make $100 in my life,” she said. “The average sale now is $100 to $150 per arrangement — it’s not the $10,000 events we’re used to. And the work that’s required to earn that $150 is 20 times more.”

Sales are down 50 percent, Gang said, a reality that could be worse if not for Helen Olivia’s prolific use of social media, complete with videos and do-it-yourself guides.

“The only thing that’s kept business funneling through our shop is being brutally honest and raw with people about what it’s like being a small business,” Gang said.

The foggy path ahead

No matter the industry, the question of when to ramp back up is just as vexing as the question of how. Past recessions — such as the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage crisis — aren’t the best guides. Recovery relied on retail shopping kicking into gear along with spending on durable goods, like cars and home furnishings, as well as entertainment.

The coronavirus recession continues to forge its own terrible path: More than 40 million layoffs, well-known brands forced into bankruptcy, economic growth slashed. And there is growing dread that the pain could stretch into next year.

Now, recovery hinges on zapping a microscopic pathogen and giving millions of Americans not just jobs, but also the confidence to eat out or make firm wedding plans.

“Nobody wants guests to be coming down with covid 14 days after an event,” Gang said. “There’s a sense of responsibility. Even if the government green-lights us, I don’t know that we’re there yet.”

Gang said Mother’s Day arrangements gave her shop, and the industry as a whole, a much-needed lift, though individual bouquets can’t make up for the long-term loss of hotel lobbies and banquet halls. Now, flower shops such as Helen Olivia are staring down the summer season and wondering what comes next.

“We’ve been hustling, hustling, hustling … but people don’t spend the way they do in spring in the summer,” Gang said. “We don’t have this nest egg.”

At Goat Lady, Bradds expects the next two months to bring serious cash flow problems. Distributors typically pay for orders a month or so after receiving invoices. Soon, the farm’s last bulk orders will have been paid for.

Before the recession, Goat Lady sold $30,000 to $40,000 worth of cheese each week. Since the downturn, weekly sales have not surpassed $5,000. Business is down 90 percent overall.

“We’ve been fine the last couple of months because the distributors that owed us were still paying,” Bradds said. “But now they don’t owe us anything.”

Bradds said her future sales are most dependent on North Carolina restaurants reopening. Still, the ones that can afford to reopen are running at slashed capacity, and many wineries and bars are still closed.

Goat Lady has picked up new customers at farmers markets across the state. And while those sales may not bring in much cash, Bradds hopes they will continue as shoppers try to buy locally and avoid stores and restaurants.

“This whole thing is going to change the landscape of our food system,” Bradds said. “In some ways it’s bad. In some ways it’s not.”

The variables widen further up the supply chain. At IGF, Di Benigno isn’t just counting on steady supplies of food products. Scaling up the operation again will also depend on reliable delivery systems, comprehensive cleaning procedures and enough demand from major customers.

“Is there one specific rung [that matters most]? No,” she said. “The ramp-up is almost as difficult as the slowdown. … We’re all interdependent.”

Avalon’s landlord suspended rent until Oct. 1, but even then, Ellis doesn’t know how the catering company will make up for months of zero business. She’s adding a provision to Avalon’s contract protecting the caterer from liability in case venues, clients or vendors don’t take enough precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Decades in catering didn’t prepare her for this, she says. How can table settings be arranged six feet apart? Should clients have to wear masks or go through the same hand-washing procedures as waiters and chefs? Ellis recently received a pitch for $180 plexiglass panels to separate guests at tables. How many could she even afford?

Those are the business questions. Ellis’s heart sinks when she considers the answers.

“The folks I work with may be more than eager, in fact, desperate, to go back to work,” she said. “They’ll be ready. But what happens to our employees? What am I asking them to do, really? Put themselves in harm’s way?”

The last week of May, Zamora, Ellis’s business partner, went back to Avalon’s kitchen to pack up the remaining goods and turn off the fridge and freezer. He starts drawing Social Security in a few weeks, and while he insists on keeping his spirits up, those checks won’t be enough to get by. Zamora’s family has been shopping at cheaper grocery stores, opting for simple soups and rice dishes over cuts of meat.

If Avalon’s bookings don’t return this year, Zamora will have to start looking for other work. The region may be reopening, he said, “but we don’t know if the phone is going to ring.”

“The only thing I know is how to cook,” Zamora said. “I can do it very well. But hospitality is not a business right now.”

It took two months and multiple applications before Acha’s jobless claim was approved. His wife and son are still without work. And in a few months, Acha said, he may have to look beyond the industry he knows so well. Maybe there’s work in construction or deliveries — so long as it keeps him safe from the virus that shut this ecosystem down.

“The more time that goes by, you get to the point of thinking, what am I going to do in the future?” Acha said. “You want to keep your hopes up and see if this is going to go away, or if it will take longer. It’s not a good feeling.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home ‘I don’t even know how the dominoes fell’: Gripped by recession, some businesses evolve — but struggle to see a path to full recovery – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

But as the Washington region begins to reopen, Ellis is left with far more questions than answers: When, or whether, bookings will return. How to balance the safety of her waitstaff against their need for paychecks. The capacity of her suppliers, and by extension, Avalon, to hold on long enough to keep their delicate ecosystem intact.

“You can feel better if you’re not going through it alone,” Ellis said. “But, also, it’s horrifying that the whole world is affected by something you can’t control.”

Avalon, which catered roughly 1,000 events a year before the pandemic hit, occupies only a sliver of the economy. Yet the caterer and its network of workers and suppliers show how the coronavirus recession cascaded from one company to the next, and why charting a path forward is so fraught. Each canceled catering job rippled through a network comprising a 400-member waitstaff and dozens of vendors, including food distributors, a florist nearby, a bartender’s family in Lorton and a cheese farm in the rolling hills of rural North Carolina.

As states begin to reopen, companies and workers face an economy in transition. Supply chains that once served large commercial customers, with profits tied to scale, now pin their sales hopes on individuals. Workers who have spent years in food and hospitality contemplate a future with far fewer opportunities. Small businesses that rely on bringing people together are studying ways to keep them apart.

Ellis’s go-to florist is working directly with overseas farms to fill holes in its supply chain. One of Avalon’s cheese vendors is marketing its chevre online so that smaller purchases might offset the loss of big-ticket bulk orders. A longtime employee, whose wife and son also recently lost jobs, might have to seek work outside the food industry. Ellis is mulling whether to place plexiglass dividers between party guests.

How the U.S. economy reignites will depend on countless ecosystems like Avalon’s adapting — and on the risks they’re willing to take.

“Reevaluating what you’re doing and how you operate [are] matters of survival,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM. “Supply chains that support that portion of the economy are going to be fundamentally altered.”

History doesn’t offer a playbook. Economics dictated how past recessions came to an end. Now, absent a vaccine or basic public trust, there’s no guide for what it will take to put these links back together.

“I don’t even know how the dominoes fell anymore,” Ellis said, “because, boy, they started falling fast.”

The first signs

For Avalon Caterers, the first hint of trouble came in late February. As the deadly coronavirus was tearing through Europe, a client in Spain who had been meticulously planning a spring event in Washington no longer needed Avalon to track down specialty gin glasses. She wanted to go over cancellation policies.

“They were already seeing the real truth of what was happening before we were,” Ellis said. “They were seeing things on the ground that seemed a little extreme to us.”

Five miles from Avalon’s offices in Alexandria, Helen Olivia Flowers was coming off its most successful start to spring when co-owner Rachel Gang turned her focus to her next big event: a “who’s who” showcase of the Washington events scene on March 13. Since buying the company seven years ago, Gang and her husband have tripled business and grown the walk-in flower shop into one of the top event florists in the D.C. area.

Within a few days, Helen Olivia’s clients began to drop away. A five-star hotel in the District suspended its account. Weddings and corporate gatherings slated through May disappeared. By the end of the week, the industry showcase felt more akin to a support group.

“By the time we gathered on the 13th, they set up an industry panel to talk about how to do cancellations moving forward, what bank loans were available and how we were going to pivot,” Gang said.

Ellis, too, was being inundated with cancellations. Spring and summer events evaporated. Fall bookings followed.

Avalon has survived downturns: After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was little need for event planning, other than funerals. The business didn’t find its bearings again until the holidays. Past recessions showed Ellis that catering is the “first to feel the effects, and the last to come back,” because “people are spending their extra money on us, not their basic money.”

Like at other large caterers, the freezers and refrigerators at Avalon were well stocked. But with no one to serve, Avalon’s sous chef divvied up the perishables and made care packages labeled with his co-workers’ names.

Horacio Zamora, Ellis’s business partner and Avalon’s head chef, was reluctant to hand out food that could keep for a few more months. Powering down the refrigerators and freezers felt too much like giving up.

Zamora had come far since immigrating from Chile about 40 years ago, working his way up from cooking gigs on cruise ships to serving presidents and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. His wife and five grandchildren, ages 5 to 20, depended on him.

“Me and my wife, we are immigrants,” Zamora said. “We have seen the poor side of life. If you’re going to have to tie your belt tighter, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to cry — I’ve been there before.”

Jhonny Acha, who worked at Avalon for eight years, took home a bag of fruit, cheeses, breads and prepared appetizers. Soon, he and his wife and their son, who also lost their jobs, would apply for unemployment benefits. On his last trip to Avalon in mid-March, Acha figured he’d be back by Easter.

With each new cancellation, Ellis reached out to vendors and venues. “I would call to say, ‘I’m so sorry to do this,’ and they would say, ‘This is happening all over,’” she recalled.

Avalon’s last booking, on March 14, was for a couple who’d moved up their wedding and settled for a small ceremony at home. Avalon prepared beef, salmon and potatoes for 15 people and dropped off the meal with detailed heating instructions.

Ellis had to ask one of her workers to come back to make the delivery. Avalon had shut down two days before.

‘It’s different work’

As Avalon packed up, one of its longtime distributors faced its own seismic shift.

International Gourmet Foods’ commercial clients — hotels, restaurants, caterers and small retailers — saw cancellations pour in as the country’s economy effectively shut down.

“Customers who’d placed an order on Sunday for Monday were calling to say, ‘Don’t worry about dropping it off,’” company president Christine Di Benigno said.

Suddenly, IGF’s customers had new needs. As restaurants tried to stay afloat by offering groceries and takeout, they depended on suppliers such as IGF to pivot with them. That pivot included asking existing vendors whether they carried tomato sauce as opposed to canned tomatoes, or other goods that would be less labor-intensive to handle in the kitchen.

“It wasn’t a question of having zero items; it was about what items started moving,” Di Benigno said. “Disinfectant moved like crazy. Toilet paper moved like crazy. There was a lot more scrambling for to-go options and containers.”

One of IGF’s suppliers, Goat Lady Dairy, whose cheeses often appeared on Avalon’s menus, needed to regroup, too. From Grays Chapel, N.C. — a town so small it doesn’t have a post office — owner Carrie Bradds was contending with a last-minute cancellation by one of the dairy’s largest distributors: $20,000 worth of specially made tubs and logs of fresh chevre, plus other highly perishable products.

Needing to act quickly, Goat Lady expanded its online store from a few gift boxes to its entire cheese line.

“It’s different work,” Bradds said. “It used to be when I shipped, customers would want a full wheel of raw cow milk Gouda. Now I’m having to go package it and sell it eight ounces at a time.”

When Rachel Gang’s local wholesalers began shutting down in mid-March, the florist had to “set up entirely new supply chains.” On top of buying directly from farms in California, Helen Olivia opened air cargo and airfreight accounts, plus one with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to source flowers from Canada, the Netherlands and South America. She now angles for cargo space on commercial carriers, anxiously tracking her precious petals through each precarious leg.

“I’ve never worked so hard to make $100 in my life,” she said. “The average sale now is $100 to $150 per arrangement — it’s not the $10,000 events we’re used to. And the work that’s required to earn that $150 is 20 times more.”

Sales are down 50 percent, Gang said, a reality that could be worse if not for Helen Olivia’s prolific use of social media, complete with videos and do-it-yourself guides.

“The only thing that’s kept business funneling through our shop is being brutally honest and raw with people about what it’s like being a small business,” Gang said.

The foggy path ahead

No matter the industry, the question of when to ramp back up is just as vexing as the question of how. Past recessions — such as the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage crisis — aren’t the best guides. Recovery relied on retail shopping kicking into gear along with spending on durable goods, like cars and home furnishings, as well as entertainment.

The coronavirus recession continues to forge its own terrible path: More than 40 million layoffs, well-known brands forced into bankruptcy, economic growth slashed. And there is growing dread that the pain could stretch into next year.

Now, recovery hinges on zapping a microscopic pathogen and giving millions of Americans not just jobs, but also the confidence to eat out or make firm wedding plans.

“Nobody wants guests to be coming down with covid 14 days after an event,” Gang said. “There’s a sense of responsibility. Even if the government green-lights us, I don’t know that we’re there yet.”

Gang said Mother’s Day arrangements gave her shop, and the industry as a whole, a much-needed lift, though individual bouquets can’t make up for the long-term loss of hotel lobbies and banquet halls. Now, flower shops such as Helen Olivia are staring down the summer season and wondering what comes next.

“We’ve been hustling, hustling, hustling … but people don’t spend the way they do in spring in the summer,” Gang said. “We don’t have this nest egg.”

At Goat Lady, Bradds expects the next two months to bring serious cash flow problems. Distributors typically pay for orders a month or so after receiving invoices. Soon, the farm’s last bulk orders will have been paid for.

Before the recession, Goat Lady sold $30,000 to $40,000 worth of cheese each week. Since the downturn, weekly sales have not surpassed $5,000. Business is down 90 percent overall.

“We’ve been fine the last couple of months because the distributors that owed us were still paying,” Bradds said. “But now they don’t owe us anything.”

Bradds said her future sales are most dependent on North Carolina restaurants reopening. Still, the ones that can afford to reopen are running at slashed capacity, and many wineries and bars are still closed.

Goat Lady has picked up new customers at farmers markets across the state. And while those sales may not bring in much cash, Bradds hopes they will continue as shoppers try to buy locally and avoid stores and restaurants.

“This whole thing is going to change the landscape of our food system,” Bradds said. “In some ways it’s bad. In some ways it’s not.”

The variables widen further up the supply chain. At IGF, Di Benigno isn’t just counting on steady supplies of food products. Scaling up the operation again will also depend on reliable delivery systems, comprehensive cleaning procedures and enough demand from major customers.

“Is there one specific rung [that matters most]? No,” she said. “The ramp-up is almost as difficult as the slowdown. … We’re all interdependent.”

Avalon’s landlord suspended rent until Oct. 1, but even then, Ellis doesn’t know how the catering company will make up for months of zero business. She’s adding a provision to Avalon’s contract protecting the caterer from liability in case venues, clients or vendors don’t take enough precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Decades in catering didn’t prepare her for this, she says. How can table settings be arranged six feet apart? Should clients have to wear masks or go through the same hand-washing procedures as waiters and chefs? Ellis recently received a pitch for $180 plexiglass panels to separate guests at tables. How many could she even afford?

Those are the business questions. Ellis’s heart sinks when she considers the answers.

“The folks I work with may be more than eager, in fact, desperate, to go back to work,” she said. “They’ll be ready. But what happens to our employees? What am I asking them to do, really? Put themselves in harm’s way?”

The last week of May, Zamora, Ellis’s business partner, went back to Avalon’s kitchen to pack up the remaining goods and turn off the fridge and freezer. He starts drawing Social Security in a few weeks, and while he insists on keeping his spirits up, those checks won’t be enough to get by. Zamora’s family has been shopping at cheaper grocery stores, opting for simple soups and rice dishes over cuts of meat.

If Avalon’s bookings don’t return this year, Zamora will have to start looking for other work. The region may be reopening, he said, “but we don’t know if the phone is going to ring.”

“The only thing I know is how to cook,” Zamora said. “I can do it very well. But hospitality is not a business right now.”

It took two months and multiple applications before Acha’s jobless claim was approved. His wife and son are still without work. And in a few months, Acha said, he may have to look beyond the industry he knows so well. Maybe there’s work in construction or deliveries — so long as it keeps him safe from the virus that shut this ecosystem down.

“The more time that goes by, you get to the point of thinking, what am I going to do in the future?” Acha said. “You want to keep your hopes up and see if this is going to go away, or if it will take longer. It’s not a good feeling.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Stimulus prepaid debit card is causing a lot of confusion – The Washington Post

The Admin

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How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Adding to the confusion, some couples say their cards came with their names mixed up.

“My wife and I don’t have the same last name, and our joint stimulus card arrived addressed to, and in, her first name, my last name,” one reader wrote. “I don’t understand why this is happening at all, since obviously the Treasury knows our income and names from how we filed our taxes.”

Treasury did not respond to questions about the name mix-ups.

Here are answers to some common questions about the economic impact payment (EIP) card.

Q: How do I use the card?

The cards, issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, were sent to 4 million Americans in an effort to speed up the process of getting out the payments. The delivery caught a lot of people by surprise, resulting in skepticism about the legitimacy of the payment.

The prepaid debit cards can be used to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts.

But many people are discovering that there are limits on how much money they can access at one time. Many seniors reached out concerned that they would have to make multiple trips to an ATM to get the cash from the card.

“I called my bank and was told I would have to go to an ATM to withdraw $1,000 once a day and then deposit it into my bank account,” Joan Bevelaqua from Columbia, Md., wrote in an email. “This is a total of three days, three separate visits. I cannot believe the government is pulling this off on the elderly. I am extremely angry.”

Q: Why did the government send the card the way it did?

A: The stimulus prepaid debit card came in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services in Omaha.

“I was expecting a check, and this card just shows up,” said Gary Jacobson, a former business editor who is retired and living in Austin.

Jacobson said even with his experience in journalism, the mailing looked suspicious. “I do think the debit card is an efficient and quick way to distribute the economic impact funds,” he said, “but the Treasury and the [financial institution] could have done a much better job of alerting and explaining the mechanics to those who received them.”

The card was discreetly sent “to protect against potential fraud,” a Treasury spokeswoman said.

Q: Can I transfer money from the card to my own financial institution?

A: You can move the money from the card to your bank. Here’s how you do it, according to instructions for the card issued by MetaBank.

You can use the Money Network Mobile App or go online to eipcard.com. You have to call 800-240-8100 (TTY: 800-241-9100) to activate the card.

Follow the steps to create a password and user ID. You will need the number on the front of the prepaid card. You’ll also need your bank or credit union account number and the routing number for your financial institution. Select the option that says “Move Money Out,” and follow the guidance to make the transfer, which should post in one to two business days.

People uncomfortable with online transactions or with no Internet access have found using the card inconvenient.

“After two trips to the credit union with my wife, we did successfully deposit the funds,” one Virginia reader wrote. “These were two trips that we seniors did not need and which could have been avoided. We sincerely hope that those who really need it are able to make it work for them.”

Another reader wrote: “I am a 74-year-old widow on Social Security and Medicare. If I want to set up an account to check the balance, I have to surrender what I feel is a great number of personal facts. I was the victim of one identity theft problem shortly after my husband died, and I am reluctant to have any more information ‘out there.’ I greatly resent this intrusion on my privacy.”

Q: Can I use the debit card at an ATM?

A: You can use the card at an ATM, but to avoid fees, you’ll have to find a machine that’s in what MetaBank calls “in-network.” It’s similar to how you can avoid an ATM fee by using one operated by your own financial institution. If you use a foreign or “out-of-network” machine, you may be charged two fees, one by MetaBank and one by the operator of the ATM.

To find an in-network ATM, use this link, which can also be found at eipcard.com. Just type in your Zip code, and be sure to click the box to find a “surcharge-free” ATM, which would make the entire transaction free of fees.

To get cash, enter the four-digit PIN you set up when you registered the card. Select the “withdrawal from checking” option.

Here’s where many people have gotten frustrated. There is a $1,000 ATM withdrawal limit per transaction and per day. And your bank may have an even lower daily withdrawal or per-transaction limit.

“It took me at least three hours to set up the account and move almost all of the money,” said Peter Golkin from Arlington, Va. “There was something that prevented my first several attempts at transfers. I got the last big chunk that day of $400 from an ATM. My dog got a walk out of it.”

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: Why were some debit cards not issued in the full amount, which is up to $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per couple?

A: There is no fee assessed to issue the stimulus debit card — although some fees apply for certain transactions.

If your card balance is less than you expected, it’s probably tied to a payment reduction because of your filing status and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Under the Cares Act, eligible individuals with an AGI up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head-of-household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are entitled to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married filing jointly. There’s an additional $500 payment for dependents under 17.

If your income is above those amounts, the stimulus payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount that your AGI exceeds the three thresholds.

Single filers with income above $99,000, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married joint filers with no children are not eligible for a payment.

However, there could have been an error in the amount you received from the IRS. If your payment is incorrect, you will have to wait to get the balance when you file a 2020 federal return next year, according to the IRS.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

A: “I opened an unmarked envelope, saw what looked like a credit card I hadn’t ordered from the Money Network, and I threw it out,” said Sarah Bardinone from New York City.

Don’t worry. You can get a replacement card.

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service,” said a Treasury spokeswoman. “The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

A card that is reported lost or stolen will be deactivated to prevent anyone else from using it.

Q: What are some of the fees associated with the card?

A: You will have to pay a fee for certain transactions with the economic impact card. Here are some ways you may incur a charge, according to the cardholder agreement Treasury has with MetaBank.

Bank teller counter transaction: The first withdrawal is free, but it’s $5 for each withdrawal or transaction after that. Additionally, you may also be charged a fee by the bank.

Out-of-network ATM fee: The first withdrawal from an out-of-network ATM is free. After that, it’s $2. You may also be separately charged a fee by the owner or operator of the ATM. Again, to avoid fees, search for an in-network ATM here.

ATM balance inquiry fee: 25 cents.

To minimize or eliminate any fees for the debit card, read the material you received in the letter very carefully. There’s also an online summary of the fee schedule.

Live Chat

Please join me on Thursday, June 4, at noon (Eastern time) for a live discussion about your money. My guests will be Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal,” the Color of Money Book Club pick for last month. Also joining the chat will be Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president of financial resilience programming. Weinstock is responsible for the overall strategic direction of AARP programs to improve the financial security of people 50 and older.

Reader Question of the Week

If you have a personal finance or retirement question, send it to colorofmoney@washpost.com. In the subject line, put “Question of the Week.”

Q: In both 2018 and 2019, I withdrew money from my 401(k). These withdrawals each year put our adjusted gross income (AGI) slightly above the $198,000 limit for a couple filing jointly to receive a coronavirus stimulus payment. Could we still be eligible for a stimulus check based on only our employment income minus the 401(k) distribution, which would be well below the $198,000 limit? Plus we have two dependents for those years. Or would the IRS count the distribution as part of AGI?

A: A distribution from your retirement account is included in calculating your gross income, which the IRS defines as “wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.”

But you may still receive a payment based on the number of dependents you have. Let’s say that your AGI for 2018 and 2019 was $200,000. You may still be eligible for a payment of $900 because of the two dependents.

If you aren’t sure of your AGI, you can find it on Line 8b on your 2019 federal tax return or Line 7 for your 2018 return.

To get an estimate of your stimulus payment, use this calculator.

Retirement Rants and Raves

Your thoughts: I’m also interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement or aging. You can rant or rave. Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line, put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Leave a Comment

Business

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home Live updates: D.C. is six days from meeting goals to reopen, Bowser says; region records lowest daily death tally since mid-April – The Washington Post

The Admin

bestonline

How to make money online home business how to make money online for beginners how to make money online for free real ways to make money from home make money from home online ideas to make money from home

Here are some of the most significant recent developments as the region responds to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19:

• The District, Maryland and Virginia announced 93 new covid-19 fatalities, the highest in five days. Maryland reported 58 covid-19 fatalities and 1,784 new cases — the highest single-day increase in infections. The spike coincides with more than 7,100 new test results received, one of the highest in one day since the governor set a goal of testing 10,000 people daily.

• A 15-year-old in Maryland has died after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said, marking the first pediatric death in Baltimore County associated with the pandemic. The teenager had “symptoms of an inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection that has been documented in children in New York and other locations,” according to a statement from local officials.

• The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by a gym owner who was seeking to reopen Gold’s Gyms that were shuttered by business restrictions prompted by the coronavirus.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday and made the case for the District receiving the same covid-19 relief funding as the 50 states. As part of the federal coronavirus relief legislation, all states received at least $1.25 billion, but the District was treated as a territory and instead received nearly $500 million.