Washington, DC — A new Yelp analysis shows that permanent business closures are now outpacing temporary closures. Even worse, the increased consumer interest that occurred in May while states began reopening their economies correlates with the resurging coronavirus infections we saw in June. This lays bare one simple fact: we cannot solve the economic crisis facing this country without first solving the public health crisis.
Without a doubt, more federal aid is required to continue to help small businesses until we get the coronavirus under control. But it is clear that on both the public health and economic fronts, the Trump administration has failed.
The main lifeline for small businesses for the past months has been the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Because the Trump administration poorly executed and designed this program, large corporations and the well-connected were able to exploit it from the start while mom-and-pop small businesses that comprise the backbone the nation’s economy were left in the lurch. Minority-owned businesses have been hit particularly hard: A University of California-Santa Cruz study found that 40% of Black-owned businesses are not expected to survive the coronavirus crisis.
And now, as the Yelp analysis shows, more businesses are shutting down permanently. Elected officials are debating extending the PPP, but until they address the underlying issues businesses are facing — namely the ongoing health crisis and the poor design of the program — the results will be the same.
“You can’t solve the economic crisis without addressing the public health crisis,” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig. “The administration needs to prioritize the ongoing health emergency before it can expect business to get back to normal. Until then, it needs to enact a real relief program for small businesses that is transparent, data-driven, and helps the mom-and-pop shops that need it most.”
See more from Accountable.US about Trump’s poorly designed, poorly implemented PPP here.