Building Harmony / Coronavirus / COVID-19 / Generosity / Kindness / Pandemic / Unity

Coronavirus: Corporate heroes deserve patronage

Pay it Forward with loving sparkles

What do the nation’s airlines and Burger King have in common?

They are among the selfless companies helping America in time of need – during the throes of the coronavirus.

The airlines, including JetBlue, United and Delta, transported volunteer doctors and nurses free of charge to the worst COVID–19 hot spots in America – New York, New Jersey and California. Burger King did its part: Providing free meals for kids in the early days of our nation’s lengthy stay–at–home order.

I am keeping a list so that I can frequent these businesses as a way to say, “America is grateful to you!”

I am keeping another list: Public companies who took advantage of small business loans, exhausting federal funds needed to get little companies back up and running. These public companies used a loophole in federal legislation called the Payroll Protection Program to take advantage of the funds.

The borrowers included Ruth’s Hospitality Group ($20M), Potbelly Corp. ($10M) and Shake Shack Inc. ($10M). All three returned the money when realizing smaller companies were left stranded when the funds ran out. The loophole was closed in a second round of funding.

I would like to think the public companies learned an important lesson: Opening small businesses who may operate on a shoestring budget is a national priority with millions unemployed and needing their old jobs back. After all, public companies have many other borrowing options.

In a pandemic, character shines through in the goodwill and good deeds of companies like Burger King and the airlines. To them, I offer a toast with my gratitude and my patronage.

© Ron Cooper 2020


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