10/29/2020 | By Robert Dibblee
When government-imposed shutdowns of businesses started to occur to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus earlier this year, there were immediate and significant impacts to employees and operations of businesses - large and small - across the country.
A new coalition, called the Business Continuity Coalition (BCC), has come together so multiple industries can collaborate and develop a plan with policymakers and other stakeholders to protect American jobs and to limit future economic damage from pandemics and other national emergencies that cause business interruptions like those that occurred in the early stages of this pandemic.
The goal of the BCC is to advocate for a public/private business continuity insurance program that, in the event of a government-ordered shutdown, will enable employers to keep payrolls and supply chains intact.
The 27-member coalition represents more than 50 million workers in the restaurant, entertainment, hospitality, gaming, retail, communications, broadcasting and real estate industries, and its focus is to help to limit job losses and furloughs, reducing stress on the financial system and speeding economic recovery when government-imposed limitations on operations are lifted.
The urgency for a plan is heightened as COVID-19 cases rise in nearly every state.
Steven A. Wechsler, president and CEO of Nareit, and one of the BCC founding members, said, “We believe we need to plan and prepare now for the future economic risks associated with pandemic-related and other potential government shutdowns of the economy rather than just wait for the next time.”
The effort to create a plan for a public/private business continuity insurance program is in its early stages, but there are steps being taken in November to advance these discussions on a bi-partisan basis.
A hearing will be convened Nov. 19 by the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance entitled “Insuring against a Pandemic: Challenges and Solutions for Policyholders and Insurers.”
The BCC recognizes that a plan must meet the needs of a broad range of groups: the businesses and employers directly impacted, insurers, lenders and other creditors, policymakers, and taxpayers, and it will continue to reach out to Congress and other stakeholders to achieve the best results.
More about the BCC and a full list of coalition members is available at www.businesscontinuitycoalition.com.