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Photo: Owen Hoffmann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Howard Schultz — the Starbucks chairman emeritus, who has been quiet since dropping out of the presidential race in September — announces on Medium this morning that he'll push for "transformation" loans for small business.

What Schultz is saying: He states that some of the country's independent restaurants are "dismayed" after qualifying for the Trump administration's Paycheck Protection Program since they have to use it specifically to pay employees or risk the grant becoming a loan.

"We need a Marshall Plan for small businesses that begins with providing federally backed loans that cover what it will cost to reopen and reinvent themselves for the COVID economy. These expenses include things like buildouts in workplaces and retail spaces to accommodate social distancing; regular virus testing for customers and employees; hiring and training; reconnecting or redeveloping supply chains; and converting products and services to meet evolving customer demands."
"These "transformation" loans should operate like start-up financing, but be longer-term, lower interest, include one year of no payments, and a portion that’s forgiven. A new federal facility should be established to purchase the loans from banks, removing the loans’ risk to banks and speeding their flow."
— Howard Schultz


Go deeper: Small businesses struggle to get cash

Go deeper

Updated Jul 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus testing still can't keep up with demand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Testing is once again becoming a critical weakness in the America's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and experts say we may need to revive tighter standards about who can get a test.

Why it matters: Although testing has gotten a lot better over the course of the pandemic, the pandemic has gotten worse, and that means the U.S. needs to prioritize its resources — which might mean that frequent testing solely to help open businesses or schools just isn't feasible.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Moderna says vaccine shows strong immune response in kids — Vaccines for kids are getting closer — A choose-your-own booster adventure.
  2. Health: U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers — Those who miss work without pay due to COVID also had food insecurity — Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Alabama governor orders state agencies to fight federal vaccine mandate — Axios-Ipsos poll: Confidence in Biden COVID recovery tumbles — New York City police union files lawsuit against vaccine mandate.
  4. Education: Benefits of vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jul 31, 2020 - Economy & Business

Health care industry tops list of most-favored amid coronavirus

Data: Harris Poll COVID19 Tracker Wave 20; Chart: Axios Visuals

Doctors, nurses and hospitals have experienced a greater increase in consumer trust and confidence than any other industry during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Axios/Harris poll.