NY business columnist: Focus on small businesses for economic relief

New York Magazine business columnist Josh Barro said Monday on Hill.TV's "Rising" that the U.S. should focus on protecting small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with "Rising" hosts Saagar Enjeti and Krystal Ball, Josh Barro said that the Trump administration should focus any economic stimulus on helping small businesses affected by closures due to the global coronavirus outbreak, rather than seeking to bailout large industries such as airline companies.

"I'm more concerned now about support at the individual level. I want people to still be able to pay their mortgages, pay their rent," Barro said. "And then I'm concerned about small businesses. One of the most impacted sectors is going to be restaurants — restaurants do not sit on a lot of cash in most cases."

"A lot of them will be forced to close, to not make payments on their rent," he added. "And then who knows if they will open when this is all over? So I think that is one of the more bipartisan areas in this response."

Barro's comments come as news reports have indicated that top cruise lines and airlines may seek federal bailouts to avoid bankruptcy due to travel restrictions implemented in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJoe Biden can't lead the charge from his home in Delaware Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (D-N.Y.) rejected the idea of focusing a bailout package on such industries in the weeks ahead during a speech on the Senate floor last week.

“If we’re going to follow up the House bill with another major economic stimulus package, which we must, our major focus cannot be based on bailing out airlines, cruises and other industries,” he said.

“We must first prioritize economic solutions that are focused on workers and their families," Schumer added at the time.

Barro's comments came before the Senate — for the second time in as many days — failed to advance a massive stimulus package meant to help businesses deal with the fallout from COVID-19.