Small businesses serve as the backbone to the US economy, employing over 58.9 million workers, which represents 47.5% of all the nation's work force. COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on small businesses and their workforce.
Emergency legislative measures mandating zero-interest commercial and residential rent/mortgage deferment on businesses and workers forced to shut down operations during this pandemic would avoid bureaucratic lag and facilitate the immediate delivery of direct financial relief to small businesses and their employees.
Businesses and their employees that suffer a significant loss of income due to the virus should have their rent/mortgage deferred. If the landlord has a mortgage on the property they should also qualify for mortgage derferment. Any months deferred would be added on to the end of the term. Banks have already received 1.5 trillion in loans from the Federal Reserve to cover the recent losses and future bail outs are ineviable.
Landlords and lenders would still be paid the full amount of the lease/mortgage over time, while preserving solvent and viable counter-parties to their existing leases and mortgages. This represents a win-win for all parties involved. Time is of the essence and emergency legislative efforts are necessary for accelerated deployment.
We urge our local, state and federal lawmakers to act swiftly to implement this equitable solution before many small businesses are forced to close their doors for good.