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5@5: Small Business Administration to speed up loan process | Allergen-free foods a growing opportunity

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Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Small business rescue slowed by fight against fraud, drawing protests

While Congress authorized emergency payroll support loans for small businesses in December, antifraud measures enacted by the Small Business Administration have caused significant delays in pushing them out. As a result, the House Small Business Committee recently proposed $1 billion in new administrative funding for SBA's administrative costs to improve the internal systems that result in postponed financial relief for small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program has proven to be a beast for the SBA to manage over the past year (it has issued over $100 billion in loans so far); the organization has garnered criticism for granting large, publicly traded companies loans designated for struggling small businesses, as well as for its opaque decision-making process. Politico reports.

Allergen-free foods an opportunity for the food industry

Roughly 85 million American consumers avoid buying products that contain at least one of the nine major food allergens. That's a full quarter of the U.S. population! And some experts note that the nine major allergens are just the tip of the iceberg—there are more than 160 foods that have been shown to cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Research group Future Market Insights predicts a 9% compound annual growth rate between 2020 and 2030, while ResearchAndMarkets argues the market for testing of food allergens was expected to grow 6.8% between 2020 and 2025. Dive into the data at The Food Institute.

How will Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s antitrust bill affect agriculture?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota's new omnibus antitrust bill aims to get the ball rolling with regard to helping farmers regain control over their livelihood. It would do this by increasing the budgets for antitrust enforcement departments and updating an older antitrust act to put the burden on companies to prove that their proposed merger would not harm the market. Modern Farmer has the scoop. 

After racial reckoning, Aunt Jemima rebrands as 'Pearl Milling Company'

Aunt Jemima will heretofore be known as Pearl Milling Company, following an announcement made last June that the company would be doing away with the logo and 130-year-old name because of its racist roots. The repackaged pancake mixes and syrups will reach store shelves in June 2021. The Quaker Oats-owned brand also pledged $1 million to “empower and uplift Black girls and women” through grants to nonprofit organizations. Read more at Eater.

Uber losses narrow as delivery growth outpaces fall in ride-sharing

Uber's growing food delivery business is helping offset its massive pandemic-driven losses. This week executives revealed mixed fourth quarter earnings and Uber's stock fell more than 3% after the bell on Wednesday. Uber's net losses amounted to $6.77 billion in 2020, a 20% improvement from an $8.51 billion loss in 2019. Get the lowdown at CNBC.

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