Economic relief package seen as an important first step
WASHINGTON – Retailers welcomed the passage of a bipartisan economic relief bill by Congress on Monday.
“Retailers are encouraged by the passage of this economic relief package that will keep the economy open and moving in the right direction as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” National Retail Federation president and CEO Matthew Shay said in response to the passage of the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020. “The additional stimulus and extension of expired relief measures will help protect families, support health care providers and sustain small and independent businesses. The November retail sales report shows that consumers held back on spending, and a more robust stimulus is needed to shore up our economy. These are trying times for many American families, and a strong stimulus bill is critical to the continued recovery of the economy and the retail industry, which creates employment for 52 million working Americans.
“The retail industry has invested billions of dollars throughout the pandemic to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers. NRF will continue to advocate for financial relief for American workers, families and businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Our hope is this latest stimulus will be a down payment on economic relief next year.”
The Retail Industry Leaders Association also praised the bipartisan deal. On Sunday, when reports surfaced that a deal had been reached, RILA issued the following statement:
“The bipartisan COVID relief deal announced today is vitally important for families and businesses whose lives and livelihoods have been upended by COVID-19. Today’s agreement does not solve every problem families and businesses will face in 2021 as we look to recover and rebuild, but it is an important first step, and one that will provide hope to those struggling in this pandemic.
“This holiday season brings the promise of vaccines and the hope of brighter days around the corner, but with millions still out of work and over 100,000 Americans currently hospitalized with severe coronavirus symptoms, funding for unemployment, health care, and first responders is what many families and communities desperately need right now. We urge Congress to quickly pass this relief bill and ask President Trump to sign it.
“Retailers and our employees are doing everything we can to help families safely celebrate the season, and we encourage all Americans to join us in continuing common-sense practices to keep themselves and others safe this holiday season—wear a mask in public spaces and stores, practice responsible distancing and avoid large crowds, and practice good hygiene at all times.”