Congress gave approval on Friday afternoon to a historic $2 trillion stimulus bill designed to support individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It includes offering $377 billion in federally guaranteed loans and other financial measures to small businesses affected by the outbreak and establishing a $500 billion government lending program for distressed companies. The program includes $29 billion in direct lending for the airline industry.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) also delivers one-time payments to individuals up to a certain income limit provides expanded unemployment assistance to individuals, including to independent contractors, in the coming months.
The bill also sends $100 billion to hospitals fighting the epidemic.
The relief package “is a great first step in this process, and comes at a time when the American travel industry is facing catastrophic economic disaster, with almost six million travel-supported jobs expected to be lost in the next five weeks,” U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said Friday, as he called for the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration to expedite getting money into the hands of those who need it. “Businesses across America are being forced to shut their doors to customers and employees alike,” he said, “and there is no time to wait.
“While the CARES Act represents tremendous progress toward keeping our economy functioning at this challenging and unprecedented moment, it is clear that more will need to be done to protect the livelihoods of American workers,” he added.
(This story is developing, so please check back for more later and look for all of Convene‘s coverage of how COVID-19 has affected business events.)
PCMA has created a COVID-19 resources page to help event professionals find reliable information about the outbreak and to share events industry-related resources to ensure they are prepared.