Mark Cuban Warns US Small Businesses Will Need ‘Many More’ Stimulus Packages to Recover: ‘Nobody Is Giving Them Any Help’
Billionaire and Shark Tank co-host Mark Cuban offered a stark warning about the federal government’s efforts to prop up the nation’s devastated small businesses, saying they will need “many more” relief packages because, right now: “Nobody is giving them any help.”
Speaking with MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Tuesday night, Cuban offered a scathing critique of some of the early efforts to restart the economy as well as the troubled PPP loan program, which has experienced website outages and numerous stories of widespread denials of aid. To start the segment, Melber asked Cuban, who lives in Texas, for his assessment of his home state’s governor’s plan to allow many retail stores to reopen, but limited to one quarter of their normal capacity to maintain social distancing.
“It’s kind of showmanship,” Cuban said, dismissively. “The reality is a retail store trying to open up or any large venue trying to open, whether it’s a small theater, whatever it may be, when you to restrict it to 25%, it’s going to cost you more to open up than anything you’d actually bring in revenue.”
“But like I said, it’s a marketing. It’s gamesmanship,” he added. “Maybe a couple of business disease open up. But Ari, what we’re really missing, because demand is going to be so much less than it was before, just trying to follow some of these guidelines, these small businesses are going to lose more money by opening up for retail. And nobody is giving them any help. Nobody is giving them any guidance. There should be support there. And again, nobody is standing up for employees. Who is — what are employees going to do if they feel the pressure to come to work, but they don’t feel it’s safe? Who do they turn to?”
Melber later mentioned the criticism that, by focusing trillions of dollars of government aid on Wall Street and the biggest banks, the federal government is repeating the mistakes and inequities of the 2008 Great Recession bailout programs. Cuban, instead, offered up his own solution of a small business loan lottery program.
“First you do some math, right? How many small businesses are there? The decline in their business. That’s the total you’re going to need. So you start there,” Cuban explained. “But If you can’t get that amount appropriated, in terms of a lottery, any business applies to any bank. Once they take and approve the application, they send to it the government, the SBA, or the Treasury. That Treasury says we’re going take the first 50,000 companies and choose them randomly. That way everybody’s got an equal chance. Once we choose to 50,000, we’ll see what the total amount is, and then we’ll do it again until the money is gone.”
“Realize we’ve done this twice now. We’re going have to do it many more times, because this is not enough,” he added, referring to the first two stimulus tranches of the PPP loan program. “The Catch-22 for a lot of these small companies is that they going to be able to pay their employees for eight weeks but chances are they aren’t going to be able to open. So now they’re paying employees to do nothing. Their employees, where they can get unemployment insurance, are getting paid more on unemployment. So they can’t get them to come back a lot. They’re in this Catch-22. We have to sit down and have somebody who truly understands small businesses, who truly understands the predicament small businesses and their employees are in and just look at the actual numbers. Having to go through banks when you’re in a rush to get money in people’s hands, I understand why they did that. But now that we’ve been through this twice, let’s optimize it and get it right.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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