Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said many small restaurants and retailers may struggle to survive the coronavirus economic halt without help from the government in a statement on Sunday.

“If we don’t provide a backstop for the restaurants, I suspect that we could see a situation around the country in which approximately 30% or more of small, independent retailers and/or restaurants never reopen,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ former CEO, said to CNBC’s Squawk on the street. Schultz stressed the importance of small businesses in terms of employment, trade and social unity.

“Friday was the third week in which restaurant workers have not gotten a paycheck,” Schultz said, adding that employees needed money very urgently and couldn’t bring food to their homes. To help, the Schultz Family Foundation has teamed up with local organizations such as All in Seattle, the Seattle Foundation and UpTogether to raise $ 4 million in funding. With this fund, restaurant employees who do not receive a salary will receive one-time support of $ 500, which they can receive within 48 hours. Schultz said the program was made to provide immediate support to employees waiting for government help. Schultz said, “It’s not a time for politics. It’s a time to band together to get hope to people who need it most, and most importantly to demonstrate shared humanity.”



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