The pandemic continues to eat away at the nation's small businesses, and dozens of current and former CEOs are calling on Congress to do more to address it.
In a letter published Monday and addressed to congressional leaders, a group of more than 100 high power executives emphasized the importance of small businesses in America. They also warned the House and Senate about the potential for a more disastrous economic fallout ahead if more relief isn't provided to small businesses.
"We cannot stress enough the urgent need to act," the letter said. "By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon. Allowing small businesses to fail will turn temporary job losses into permanent ones."
The business leaders said that by year-end, the domino effect on goods and services in the country "could be catastrophic." The letter was signed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and Dunkin' Brands CEO David Hoffmann. Leaders from Facebook, Costco, American Express and dozens of others joined in.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz spearheaded the initiative.
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It comes almost 6 months after the pandemic began rattling American companies after officials called for widespread lockdown orders across much of the country. As states have moved toward reopening in recent months, larger firms with cash to burn and more resources have had an easier time adjusting to the new normal.
Meanwhile, many small businesses have cratered due in part to rocky relief from the government's Paycheck Protection Program. The forgivable loans program was initially met with criticism over its delayed rollout and questionable terms before the Trump administration sent out a second round and extended the application deadline to August 8.
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The business leaders that signed the letter to Congress are pushing for another round of PPP coronavirus aid for small businesses. They're also requesting additional help for the hardest-hit sectors.
"To survive until a vaccine is widely available, millions of small businesses will require longer-term support from the federal government," the letter said.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: More than 100 CEOs to Congress: Do more to save small businesses