A new poll taken from March 25-28, 2020 and released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife reveals that one in four small businesses (24%) are on the brink of closing permanently amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The full report relays findings on small business owners' level of concern, changes they are making in order to continue operating, resources and relief programs needed over the next couple of months, and predictions on when the U.S. small business climate will return to normal.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping American businesses respond to the coronavirus so they can support their employees, customers, and communities.
Our members and the state and local chambers, who are on the front lines of this pandemic, need us now more than ever to help them through this temporary but significant disruption. We will continue working every day to help our country’s people, businesses, and economy weather this storm and emerge stronger—just as we have at other challenging times in our nation’s history
On Monday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce proposed three ideas to support American businesses and workers, and mitigate job losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Specifically, the Chamber called for legislation that would:
- Cancel payment of all payroll taxes typically paid by employers for March, April, and May.
- Expand and streamlining loan programs for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees experiencing revenue loss as a result of the coronavirus.
- Enable the creation of credit facilities to provide loans and loan guarantees to employers with more than 500 employees experiencing significant revenue loss as a result of the coronavirus.
"We have a simple principle at the Chamber,” U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said in an interview on CNBC on Monday. “No individual and no business should go bankrupt simply because of a disruption in revenue during this crisis.”
The U.S. Chamber recommended these policy actions in addition to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that the U.S. House passed Friday. On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved the House legislation, which President Trump has now signed into law. The U.S. Chamber’s policy proposals would build on this legislation to provide relief for workers and businesses facing economic hardship because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes:
- Paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and sick leave for businesses with less than 500 employees.
- Free testing for COVID-19.
- Expand federal funding of Medicaid.
American businesses and workers are the lifeblood of our economy, and the U.S. Chamber will continue to advocate for policies that will keep Americans employed, prosperous, and healthy.
To learn more about our policy recommendations to U.S. government leaders, read the full letter from our CEO Tom Donohue.
On April 2, 2020 the Chamber delivered this letter to the IRS and the Treasury regarding comments and recommendations to provide guidance to taxpayers in response to COVID-19.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created new temporary paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs that are 100% reimbursable by the federal government. The effective date of both programs is April 1 and they expire on December 31.