A message from Neil Bradley, executive vice chairman and chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber.
It is hard enough to be a small business owner – only about half of all small businesses with employees make it to their five-year anniversary.
Add in the coronavirus and measures we have adopted to halt its spread, and you are looking at an existential threat that could wipe out millions of small businesses.
A recent poll conducted by the Chamber and MetLife found that more than half of small businesses (54 percent) have closed at least temporarily or will close in the next two weeks. One in four (24 percent) are two months or less away from permanently closing. To put that into perspective, 24 percent of employer firms with fewer than 500 employees is 1.4 million small businesses.
All of which makes the Save Small Business Initiative announced today (April 16) by the U.S. Chamber even more critical. The initiative features a four-part campaign including financial aid, resources and guidance, advocacy, polling, and a call to action for the larger business community and government to help small businesses.
As part of the initiative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has launched the Save Small Business Grant Fund to provide $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers.
This is not just about what the Chamber can do, but wyhat all of us can do together.
It is also about what we can do over time. Implementing the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and the new Main Street Loan Facility will help stabilize many small businesses today [April 16], but then we must help them reopen, recover, and grow. The Chamber is committed for the long-term.
As our President Suzanne Clark said, “We cannot and will not allow our country’s critical small business sector to collapse.”