There has been a lot of talk about the stimulus package and other initiatives set up in response to COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, on whether or not they are doing enough. Numerous political leaders and organizations have come out to criticize the rollout of these relief programs. As of this week, more than 5.2 million people have filed for unemployment with more than 700,00 jobs being lost as a result. New reports show that despite efforts, most feel the government simply isn’t doing enough.
According to a study conducted by Piplsay, polling thousands of Americans nationwide, only 46% of Americans are optimistic about the COVID-19 stimulus package with another 44% saying that President Trump’s administration has let the pandemic grow out of control. The Trump administration has faced a wave of criticism for making light of the virus, which has now claimed the lives of tens of thousands across the country. The report also showed that roughly 40% of Americans think it will negatively affect his campaign for re-election.
The stimulus package includes the Paycheck Protection Program, which underwrites bank loans for small businesses that will never need to be repaid if owners use most of the money to keep paying employees for two and a half months. Economists and business lobbyists warned when the bill was being debated that the money was nowhere close to the $1 trillion or more that companies would need.
True to their concern, it was announced this week that the Small Business Administration has run out of money for the program, leaving millions of businesses unable to apply for emergency loans while Congress struggles to reach a deal to replenish the funds. Because of the outbreak, these highly sought-after loans have become critical to many as small businesses struggle with virus-induced quarantines and closings that have quickly depleted cash flows, leaving their future uncertain.
“There’s nowhere to hide,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton in Chicago to The New York Times. “This is the deepest, fastest, most broad-based recession we’ve ever seen.”