January 12, 2021
CEO, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Amid the challenges of 2020, including a global pandemic and a subsequent economic crisis, American businesses have remained resilient and adapted to unprecedented circumstances. As U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue has noted, this survival has been aided by partnership between both business and government leadership.
“As the Chamber marshaled all of its resources and worked closely with state and local chamber partners to help businesses make it through an economic shutdown,” explained Donohue, “members of Congress worked together to pass four significant packages, including the most sweeping federal aid in U.S. history.”
COVID-19 financial relief, established under the CARES Act, has been instrumental in supporting both individuals and businesses facing economic uncertainty.
Alongside two rounds of stimulus checks for individuals, the CARES Act has also established various programs to protect businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided small businesses up to eight weeks of funds to cover costs such as employee paychecks and mortgage payments. Additional financial incentives and assistance, including payroll tax deferral and employee retention credit, have also been made available to businesses that have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
Turning Toward Reigniting the Economy and Reasserting American Leadership in 2021
The collaboration between business and government does not — and should not — end with coronavirus relief. According to Donahue, leaders in both sectors have worked together to advance other critical economic priorities. These include a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, new rules to rebalance corporate governance and support public companies, and a large-scale energy package to promote environmental innovation and protection.
“As we turn the page to 2021, we are focused on reigniting our economy and reasserting our leadership and competitiveness,” said Donohue. “That, too, will hinge on the resiliency of business and the partnership with government.”
However, America’s economic rebound is not solely in the hands of top-level leaders, but all members of the greater business community. As government and business leaders pave the way for the post-pandemic environment, businesses across the country will have to follow their lead.
“It will take the collective strength of the thousands of members of the business community gathered for this event and the millions of others who helped power our economy,” said Donohue. “Together, we can help lead our country out of the crisis and into a brighter future.”