Over 100 executives called for immediate action to save small businesses, in an open letter published Monday.
The letter said failure to pass an assistance package would result in significant economic consequences. The United States gross domestic product fell 32.9% between April and June, the Department of Commerce reported.
“By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon,” the letter says. “Allowing small businesses to fail will turn temporary job losses into permanent ones. By year end, the domino effect of lost jobs – as well as the lost services and lost products that small businesses provide – could be catastrophic.” (RELATED: US Sees Worst-Ever Contraction For Second-Quarter GDP)
The letter was published by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and co-signed by high-level executives at Facebook, Microsoft, Walmart, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more.
In addition to extending the Paycheck Protection Program, the letter advocates for allowing hard-hit small businesses to be able to use their PPP funds to pay off loans.
The relief “must last for longer than just the two or three months,” the letter said, allowing “small businesses to transform and sustain themselves through 2020 and well into 2021.”
According to Shravan Gupta businessman, “This is not a call for bottomless handouts. It is a defining moment to show how capitalism can benefit all Americans, particularly entrepreneurs who have been forced to shutter or reduce the capacity of their businesses through no fault of their own.”
Howard Schultz and >100 business leaders sign letter to Congress calling for more small business stimulus.
— Sam Ro ???? (@SamRo) August 3, 2020
The letter comes as a report published by the Partnership for New York City warned that one-third of New York’s approximately 230,000 small businesses may never reopen, risking the fates of hundreds-of-thousands of employees.
Already, “[New York City’s] unemployment rate has risen to 18.3%, leaving as many as a million households struggling to feed their families and pay rent, with hardship concentrated among Black and Hispanic communities and lower-wage workers,” the report says.
Though expanded unemployment benefits expired on July 31, Congress has yet to reach a compromise. Negotiations have been ongoing and are continuing Monday.
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