Joint Statement: Applause for Jayapal Paycheck Guarantee Act

Business and Workers Orgs Applaud Paycheck Guarantee Act as comprehensive plan for economic recovery

As organizations that represent the interests of American workers, small businesses, and consumers we applaud Representative Jayapal on a bill that finally puts American workers and small businesses ahead of corporations. This is exactly the type of program we need to keep people on payroll and connected to their important health benefits, address our ballooning unemployment, and lay the foundations for economic recovery.

Encouraging employers to rehire their workers through wage guarantees and business expense coverage are what small businesses and their employees need to both get through this crisis in the near term, and set up a strong foundation when ready to turn the lights back on.

According to Brookings Institution data, over a quarter of small businesses are at risk of immediate shutdown and over half are vulnerable to severe disruption or shutdown. The situation could not be more urgent. Women entrepreneurs and small business owners of color are particularly at risk. We need programs that help address inequity in lending, not one that exacerbates this problem.

As small businesses apply for their Paycheck Protection Program loans, they can use that money as a bridge to a more comprehensive program like the Paycheck Guarantee Act that will enable a speedier recovery. These programs can work together to fulfill a whole economic recovery program.

Main Street businesses need more assistance, easier access to that assistance, and less requirement to assume credit risk. Without added and expansive federal action to preserve our small business economy, Main Street will wither, and Wall Street will seize an even greater share of our economy. This bill will protect jobs, and stave off corporate consolidation of our nation’s small businesses.

“The financial devastation of COVID-19 to small businesses and working people has been stunning, and threatens to upend our entire economy. We applaud Representative Jayapal’s leadership in developing the Paycheck Guarantee Act, which provides a bold and workable solution that addresses the true severity, scope and potential duration of the financial crisis that small business owners and their employees are facing right now.  It is exactly the type of policy that will secure our small business economy and keep millions of workers in their jobs and homes until the threat of the virus has passed.” – Amanda Ballantyne, Executive Director, Main Street Alliance

“Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are in danger of closing for good in the coming weeks, with catastrophic effects on the economy and their communities. While the Paycheck Protection Program provided an important initial response, the SBA system is too limited to deliver the support that small businesses and their employees need. Rep. Jayapal’s proposal gives small businesses the stability they need to survive this crisis. Importantly, it ensures the kind of streamlined delivery of relief funds that is critical to meet the urgency and scale of this crisis and prevent massive unemployment and a second Great Depression.” – Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

“Workers and small businesses desperately need mechanisms for direct Federal government support to maintain payrolls and rehire workers. Almost 17 million workers have filed for unemployment insurance in the last three weeks, 11 percent of all workers in the economy.  The current reliance on bank loans to plug small business revenue holes is proving insufficient —  loans to cover payroll are a risky proposition,  especially for small small businesses in uncertain times,  and banks are incapable of providing assistance with the needed reach, scale and rapidity. In the absence of action along the lines outlined in Rep. Jayapal’s legislation, the likelihood of  a Great Depression scale economic catastrophe and the disappearance of large swathes of the small business sector becomes ever greater.” – Marcus Stanley, Policy Director, Americans for Financial Reform