“Right now, businesses are rightly focused on helping on applying maximum pressure on the virus and survival,”said Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX). “That is exactly where they need to be.”
And that is exactly what local businesses nationwide are doing as we work to defeat the novel coronavirus.
Faster Payments to Doctors
UnitedHealth announced that the health insurer is going to accelerate $2 billion in payments to providers this week. Just like Main Street businesses, doctors and hospitals are facing a cash-flow crisis. This accelerated payment will greatly assist our medical professionals as they continue to focus on patients battling this virus.
Keeping the Coffee Flowing …
As part of the CARES Act, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program – forgivable loans designed to help small businesses stay afloat as we fight this crisis. Merely a week into its inception, $110 billion has made it into Main Street’s hands and it is making an impact.
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Shop, based in Wilmington, North Carolina was able to apply and receive a “very seamless” loan, according to owner Amy Wright. She said this program will allow their coffee company to continue paying their workers – many of whom are individuals with disabilities.
And the Pizza Hot!
Dozens of pizza chains across the country, from D.C.-based &pizza to Little Caesars are offering free pizzas and more to hospital workers. Through their “Hero Pie” campaign, &pizza announced that medical workers “can text #HERO to 200-03 with a picture of their hospital ID and receive a free pizza with contactless delivery.”
More Hopes for a Cure
Locking down the virus remains the highest priority, and the New York Times reports that “companies are ratcheting up their efforts to fight the disease with accelerated schedules for creating new vaccines, and beginning clinical trials for potential treatments.”
The Times’ reports that Novavax in Maryland will start trials of new vaccines in mid-May. Mesoblast, a stem-cell company, is going to begin tests supported by the federal government to determine “whether cells derived from bone marrow could help patients who developed a deadly immune reaction to the coronavirus.”