Inslee’s New COVID Relief a “Drop In The Bucket,” Says Expert
As Opportunity Washington (OW) put it, once again the state's economy comes to a grinding halt Tuesday night at midnight, although many businesses are already shuttered today (Tuesday 11-17). Restaurants were given an extra day to get rid of food, to "avoid spoilage" as the state edicts put it.
Claiming the 'surge' in COVID cases needed to be dealt with, Gov. Inslee dealt another economic blow to businesses, especially restaurants, bars and even retail. While grocery and retail and most stores are able to operate at 25 percent and professional services; movie theaters, bowling alleys, and gyms will be hit hard as will other recreational services--they've having to close.
OW is is collaborative effort between the Washington Association of Business, the Washington Research Council and Washington Roundtable. Founded in 2000, it's goal is to call attention to and push for policies that will protect and grow out state's economy.
OW says multiple sources believe Inslee's pledge to direct $50 million in loans and grants to businesses and workers during this new shutdown is better than the $15 million given out with the Working Washington Plan from spring-summer. But it's a drop in the bucket, says a leading economist. Thomas Gilbert of the University of Washington's Foster School of Business said:
“If you’re going to shut [businesses] down, you need to take over their payroll and their fixed expenses — otherwise, these businesses will go bankrupt.”
He said it's the same principle as earlier in the spring. By takeover, he meant a LOT more financial assistance. Of course the state cannot match the $12 billion on Federal loans to business as well as unemployment (Federal) assistance.
But now that is in question, and Inslee's plan will likely not save many businesses that were already on the brink and just starting to recover.
$50 million may sound like a lot, but consider he took $41 million in CARES Act money and devoted it to paying illegal agricultural workers. Critics said at least some of that money should have gone to help the economy.
As Gilbert said about Inslee's $50 million: "It's a drop in the bucket.'
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