Small businesses need help now, and Congress should extend the Paycheck Protection Program as a lifeline, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett said Tuesday in an interview with CNBC.
The situation facing small businesses is “an economic war,” he said, noting that these firm have become “collateral damage” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s an economic war and, and … when we went into World War II, a lot of industries were shut down and, and everything went over to the defense production,” Buffett said. “Well, we’ve shut down a lot of [businesses] in this particular induced recession, while others are prospering. The country owes it to millions of small-business people … to just renew the means of the PPP and get us to the end of the tunnel.”
The Berkshire Hathaway chief said larger companies, especially big food manufacturers, generally have done fine.
But the pandemic and closures “just killed the economics for somebody who may have been working decades … to build a business, reinvesting earnings to improve their establishment, and through no fault of their own the edict comes along that kills all their dreams,” he added.
Congress would be “foolish” to not get these businesses “back to where they were” before the pandemic and closures, Buffett explained.