Trump’s Main Street Marshall Plan
By Dr. Robert Owens 4/13/2020
How it was:
Basking in the glow of renewed freedom birthed through the Trump era tax cuts and the President’s massive reversal of the regulation noose that’s strangled America for the past three years, small-business success has achieved record highs. The best economy in half a century unleashed by the lower taxes and fewer regulations inspired small businesses to hire more employees, to pay higher wages, and then to reinvest its capital.
How it is:
This pandemic is what historians call a black swan event. It came out of nowhere and changed our perceptions forever. But, having said that, the same conditions of lower taxes and less regulation still exist. Though currently stifled by the stay-at-home orders and self-quarantines, this period of confinement and artificial limits is building a tsunami of pent-up demand. As one of America’s main employers, the Small Business Administration, tells us Main Street is the engine of our economy. Here are some facts about small businesses in America today:
- There are almost 21.5 million (90%) small businesses in the United States.
- Small businesses are responsible for 39% of GNP.
- Small businesses are responsible for 52% of all U.S. sales and contribute about 21% of all manufactured U.S. exports.
- Small businesses contribute 44% of all sales in the country.
- Small businesses employ 54.4 million people, about 57.3% of the private workforce.
Some call these small businesses the backbone of the American economy. In this time of national sacrifice and emergency, they deserve a government that addresses their needs.
What’s been done:
In response to this crisis, Congress passed, and the President signed, the largest direct assistance program in American history. This, the third major bill in a month, includes a novel plan for small businesses. Instead of just tax incentives or emergency loans hidden behind a hedge of bureaucracy, it seeks to deliver right-now-relief through the Paycheck Protection Program.
One way to express this effort calls to mind one of the most successful government programs of all time. This is Trump’s Main Street Marshall Plan.
Through the Paycheck Protection Program, businesses with fewer than 500 employees (including startups, sole proprietors and the self-employed) can receive 100% federally guaranteed loans for eight weeks. Then if the loan is used to pay employees, rent or utilities, or rehire employees who were laid off due to the virus, the loan is forgiven. The loan term is from February 15 to June 30.
This revolutionary piece of legislation saves small businesses the endless hassle of navigating the bewildering maze of the government bureaucracy which normally stands between citizens and government emergency relief. With this innovative plan, small business owners can work with their local bank or any lender backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This includes farmers. Those who feed the world can work with the same farm credit institutions they’re familiar with, the ones they already know and trust. All this without any bureaucrats in between the lenders and the borrowers.
American small businesses can take advantage of these loans right now, the sooner the better. The applications for these loans are located on the Treasury Department website.
The goal of the Paycheck Protection Program is to ensure small businesses are ready to relaunch as soon as America reopens for business. This act seeks to keep Main Street afloat by providing direct relief for small businesses and keeping tens of millions of workers on the payroll.
The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest crisis as a nation we have faced in the lifetime of most Americans. We have a great cheerleader in President Trump. He strives day in and day out to raise our spirits and to lead us out of this dire straight and back to prosperity and peace.
What to do:
Having said all this I have to share my belief that government, even one that is being led by the greatest crisis manager of modern times, is not the answer to America’s problems. Only God can bring salvation whether we’re talking about an individual or a nation.
He once told us, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” And since God is the same yesterday, today and forever we can still claim that promise. He also told us, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Trust God and He’ll bring us through. Some may say, “What if we follow that advice and we catch the virus and die anyway?” All I can say is if we die trusting God, no matter what the reason, we sure will be healed then.