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

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Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
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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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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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.