Group Comprised of 30 Business Sectors, Employing 58 Million American Workers, Will Advocate for Federal Direct Assistance Fund to Power an American Recovery
May 4, 2020 – More than 100 trade associations and business organizations spanning 30 business sectors and representing 58 million employees – 45 percent of the American workforce – today announced the launch of America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, which will advocate for a grant-based federal assistance program to power the resilience of American enterprise. In a letter sent to President Trump, congressional leaders, and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Coalition noted:
“Today we are announcing the creation of America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, a group of over 100 organizations advocating for a grant-based federal assistance program to power the resilience of American enterprise. America’s Recovery Fund Coalition includes members representing more than 30 business sectors that together employ 58 million Americans and comprise more than 45 percent of the private workforce.”
The letter went on to state:
“Existing programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were a well-intentioned effort to help defray the impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis, but we must build upon the current options and address the overwhelming need for additional capital support to businesses. A broad-based, efficient recovery fund that does not pick winners and losers is the best path forward. Without such a fund, our retailers, theaters, restaurants, and many other industries will be decimated – and our communities will be poorer both economically and culturally as a result.
“America’s Recovery Fund Coalition believes Congress must urgently create a federal direct assistance fund to provide rapid liquidity to businesses impaired by the COVID-19 national emergency. We believe the fund should be designed to help businesses maintain ongoing capital obligations during the prolonged crisis and the next months of economic healing, enabling employees to continue receiving pay, maintain benefits, and helping employers rehire former employees while workplaces get back on their feet and safely reopen to the public.”
Coalition Members Asking Congress for Additional Support
Regional Chamber of Commerce
“As the CEO of a regional chamber of commerce, we are working with businesses daily to manage this new normal. The PPP and EIDL loan programs are a good start but they are only a temporary band-aid,” said Patrick Ellis, President and CEO, Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce in Murrieta, CA. “There needs to be a long-term plan on how to make sure our local economies are not destroyed by the collapse of small and mid-size businesses. The formation of a Recovery Fund would ensure the assistance needed to save the backbone of our country.”
“This is a time unlike any in our lives. We feel it is our obligation as endurance sports industry leaders to advocate for a path forward that enables our more than 650 organizations and nearly one million people to withstand the threat posed by COVID-19,” said Andrew Messick, President and CEO of The IRONMAN Group. “There is uncertainty around health, the economy and sport and as time goes on our industry is increasingly at risk. America’s Recovery Fund Coalition is another step towards advocation of those in need of support.”
“Together, we represent 500,000 workers across 50,000 events pumping billions into local economies,” added Joe De Sena, CEO of Spartan Race. “Like every industry, mass participation sports have been hit hard by the pandemic. These events, which are largely organized by non-profits and small businesses, are at risk of disappearing.”
“Castle Hill Fitness is a small, local business focused on enhancing the quality of life. We’re committed to serving the community, conducting live-stream classes while closed and creating more private spaces in our facility so our staff and members can feel safe when we reopen,” said Michele Melkerson-Granryd, a cancer exercise specialist and general manager of Castle Hill Fitness in Austin, TX. “Our income has dramatically decreased – and I expect will continue for some time as people are concerned about resuming their usual activities for fear of infection. Knowing there is a Recovery Fund to help cover our losses like this will give us the confidence to continue our efforts to support our community.”
“We have 17 full-time employees. Since the shutdown orders were issued, our business has declined by 70 percent. Acquisition of a PPP loan allowed us to hire everyone back full-time, putting our staff to work on projects that will ultimately make us stronger. This gives me a lot of hope, but that reservoir of hope is limited and could run dry, along with our cash reserves, by the end of the summer,” said Andy Jessen, owner of Bonfire Brewing in Eagle, CO. “Right now, it’s unclear when restaurants or bars will open again at full capacity. Without beginning to recapture at least some of our business, cash will continue to evaporate rapidly. By the end of next month, our negotiated debt service deferrals and concessions from vendors will expire. Without additional support of some kind by the end of the summer, we’ll be forced into layoffs and ultimately, the viability of our business will begin to come into question.”
“COVID-19 has caused a rapid change in our business in the shortest amount of time. The variety of assistance from local grants to the federal PPP has helped,” said Walter Bowers and Sayan Promwongsa, co-owners of the Thai Bloom restaurant in Beaverton, OR. “But the short-term grants and PPP program only help in the short term, in the long run, the economic loss will likely continue until the virus is eradicated. This proposed relief fund, like the 9/11 relief fund, will help previously successful businesses survive until they can succeed on their own, which is all we have ever wanted.”
To learn more about America’s Recovery Fund Coalition visit www.AmericasRecoveryFund.org.