Consumer Handbook

Every week, join Whitney Quick as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. 

Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU. 

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With millions of people laid off or furloughed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, competition for seasonal employment this holiday season will be fierce. 

Shipping companies and online retailers like Amazon have seen their business boom as the pandemic has driven online shopping through the roof, and it is expected they will hire thousands of seasonal employees this holiday season. Some traditional brick-and-mortar retailers also are hiring seasonal workers. 

Better Business Bureau

In an unpredictable year, one thing is for certain: the 2020 holiday season will be unlike previous years. 

It’s hard to estimate how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact overall holiday spending, but businesses are already making adjustments to their typical holiday plans. Companies are ramping up online shopping and scaling back in-store promotions in an effort to discourage crowds and keep workers safe. 

Alan Levine/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Whether your small business is no longer able to make ends meet or you’re simply ready to move on to a new venture, closing your company can be both a difficult decision and a lengthy process. 

Small business owners need to take several steps to ensure they fulfill all the necessary legal requirements. The following tips in developing a plan for closing will help you avoid unnecessary fines and legal disputes, and maintain a good business reputation as you move on to your next endeavor. 

Mike Maguire/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

During the COVID-19 outbreak, online furniture sales have skyrocketed. Online purchases of home products and furnishings have nearly doubled, and the online sales of outdoor furniture has increased more than 400%. This increase likely reflects the home improvements many homeowners are making, parents shopping for desks for home school learning, and employees who have permanently switched to a work-from-home situation. 

Oregon Department of Transportation/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, state departments of motor vehicles around the United States have expanded their online offerings, allowing drivers to book appointments or prepay for services.

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