We are all coming to terms with the economic consequences of the coronavirus. Who could have foreseen that self-distancing would turn into being quarantined with businesses all over the country being shut down?
We opposed government bailouts in the past because they focused on Wall Street, particularly mismanaged businesses. This emergency is different. Families could have never anticipated that all income – and job opportunities – would stop at the same time.
Congress has the opportunity to provide real support to working families that will also uphold the economy until this emergency passes. If done correctly, this will keep businesses and nonprofits on hold and prepared to reopen - with their employees ready to go back to work - once the coronavirus is behind us.
Senators Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, and Lamar Alexander have introduced the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act that would provide 100% federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll. The loans would be forgiven if their workers remain employed. Other supports are also available for small businesses, you can learn more about these provisions here.
While this government action will be expensive, it is still a better option than having to rebuild the entire economy from scratch, with economically devasted employees and no market for products. Keeping businesses solvent is important during this time.
On Wednesday, the Coronavirus Emergency Relief Package was quickly passed that provided 10 days of sick leave to only those with the coronavirus, seeking diagnoses, or caring for sick family member. It also provided 12 weeks of paid family leave only to those caring for children because their school or daycare was closed. We need to do better than this and Congress agrees. They need to include large businesses with over 500 employees and expand the paid leave provisions for those caring for family members, elderly, or disabled that have no other options during this time.
Since we know big businesses – CEOs from grocery store and pharmacy chains and huge retailers -- are sitting at the table advocating for their business interests, let’s make sure Members of Congress hear from us to stand up for the common worker and small business.
Senator Mitch McConnell announced that a new bill is currently being crafted with a Monday vote expected. Please use this took to quickly send an email right now to your Members of Congress that makes the case that they need to prioritize supporting working Americans and small business!