Today’s unemployment numbers continue to be heartbreaking. In total, 33 million Americans have now lost their jobs due to COVID-19. As the country attempts to begin down the long road to recovery, America’s Recovery Fund Coalition – a collection of over 100 industry groups who together employ 45 percent of the nation’s workforce – is imploring lawmakers to establish a grant-based fund to support businesses and empower employees to return to work.
Below is just a sample of what business and industry leaders are saying about the need for America’s Recovery Fund. If you’d like to learn more about America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, the Fund, or how it will support businesses and employees by empowering local economies to reopen safely, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: BUSINESS LEADERS SUPPORT AMERICA’S RECOVERY FUND
“The Auto Care Association is leaving no stone unturned in its continued effort to identify opportunities to help our members, American businesses and American workers to get back on their feet and get back to work,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Joining the coalition is another important step we have taken in order to secure more funding and resources that will be vital to keeping businesses within the auto care industry afloat during this unprecedented crisis.” (Press Release, Auto Care Association, 05/04/20)
“Joining forces together with over 100 other like-minded organizations throughout the nation to create America’s Recovery Fund gives us our best opportunity to realize this goal and to galvanize our nation’s leaders to give businesses the real relief they need,” said Nancy Hoffman Vanyek, chief executive of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We refuse to leave any business behind. Support America’s Recovery Fund.” (“Greater San Fernando Chamber Joins Recovery Fund Coalition,” San Fernando Valley Business Journal, 05/04/20)
“We believe the establishment of America’s Recovery Fund is the most holistic approach to address the economic impact of this crisis, without choosing industry winners or losers,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “The continuity of cash flow it would provide will allow businesses of all sizes impacted by COVID-19 to maintain their employees and emerge better positioned to advance an economic recovery. We are at a critical juncture and the most comprehensive way to approach this crisis is through a recovery fund created at the federal level.” (Press Release, International Council of Shopping Centers, 05/04/20)
“IFA is proud to take a leading role in America’s Recovery Fund Coalition,” said Matt Haller, IFA Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. “Franchise business owners such as restaurants, hotels, salons, gyms and residential and commercial services have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19, with 75 percent of franchises fully closed. Initial relief programs that provided direct support to employees were a positive bridge to keep employees connected to payrolls, but the crises is wider and deeper than anyone initially feared, and more direct support to employers will be critical for franchise businesses to survive long-term.” (Press Release, International Franchise Association, 05/04/20)
“Health clubs were among the first businesses mandated to close due to the pandemic and among the hardest hit, with few alternative revenue streams to keep them going,” said Joe Moore, president and CEO of IHRSA. “Through no fault of their own, America’s health clubs find themselves in danger of going out of business. America’s Recovery Fund is the solution that could save health clubs and businesses across the country hard hit by this pandemic. That is why IHRSA is proud to join this coalition and work to save America’s businesses, jobs, and bright future.” (Press Release, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, 05/04/20)
“PIA has always been about providing solutions to problems in a proactive way, and that goal has become more essential than ever during this difficult time,” said Mike Becker, executive vice president and CEO of PIA National. “To that end, we’ve worked with our industry partners to develop a solution for businesses that have been hard hit by the negative economic consequences related to the coronavirus, while not upending insurance practices.
“… Only about one-third of American small businesses have business interruption coverage,” said Becker. “As such, retroactive BI proposals fall far short of helping all businesses. PIA has helped create a real solution for all businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19, and it doesn’t upend existing insurance contracts and practices.” (Press Release, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, 05/04/20)
“Our business community has been vocal in expressing the need for additional help outside the current available federal programs,” said Chris Romer, President & CEO of Vail Valley Partnership. “We are committed to leading the way and making sure our community emerges stronger than ever. America’s Recovery Fund is just one way to ensure we support our businesses through this time.” (Press Release, Vail Valley Partnership, 05/04/20)
“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,” saidPatrick 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.” (Press Release, America’s Recovery Fund, 05/04/20)
“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.” (Press Release, America’s Recovery Fund, 05/04/20)
“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.” (Press Release, America’s Recovery Fund, 05/04/20)
“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.” (Press Release, America’s Recovery Fund, 05/04/20)
“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.” (Press Release, America’s Recovery Fund, 05/04/20)