Wallet Hub: Marick Masters on the economics of reopening businesses

As every state begins to reopen at least partially after months of keeping non-essential businesses closed, Americans hope to see the massive spike in unemployment start to reverse. More than 40 million Americans have found themselves temporarily or permanently out of a job since the week of March 16, which translates to a staggering 14.5% unemployment. Though the reopening of states will provide opportunities for some people to go back to work, businesses will open in stages rather than all at once, and many may not have the resources to hire as many people as they did previously. Marick F. Masters,  professor of business and interim chair of the department finance at the Mike Ilitch School of Business, offers opinions on the 2.2tn emergency relief package that has been passed by the U.S. Senate. Will it be sufficient to ensure full relief? “There undoubtedly will be a need for more economic relief to both individuals and small businesses, given the modest pace of easing the shutdowns, the depths of economic dislocation, and structural delays in restarting the economy while taking precautions to prevent a recurrence of a second wave. Perhaps the greatest need will be to provide businesses with the working capital to bring people back to work and defray the costs of implementing the public- health precautions needed. The key must be on providing businesses with the wherewithal to bring workers back as quickly and as fully as possible in a responsible public-health fashion.”

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