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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With a new coronavirus relief measure stalled in Congress, CEOs of some of the world's biggest companies have banded together to send a message to Washington: Get money to small businesses now!

Why it matters: "By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon," warns the letter, organized by Howard Schultz and signed by more than 100 CEOs.

  • Signatories include the heads of Salesforce, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, Walmart, McDonald's, Disney, Quibi, IBM, Merck, Marriott, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more.

What's happening: The open letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top lawmakers obtained first by Axios lays out a recipe for a sizable small-business aid package.

What they're saying: The project, Schultz's first big public push since he suspended his run for president, calls for "federally guaranteed loans, at favorable terms, that will enable small businesses to transform and sustain themselves."

  • "Businesses should have flexibility in how loan funds are used."
  • "The hardest-hit businesses should be eligible for at least partial loan forgiveness."
  • "Relief needs to be delivered expeditiously. Building on the existing PPP infrastructure would be one way to quickly stand up a new loan program."
  • "These funds must flow to all small businesses in need, particularly those run by people of color, who have traditionally had less access to capital."

Between the lines: Neither the House's HEROES Act nor the latest version of Senate Republicans' HEALS Act include significant funding for small businesses besides the PPP extension.

The last word: "Tens of millions of Americans have already lost their jobs in this pandemic. ... By year end, the domino effect of lost jobs — as well as the lost services and lost products that small businesses provide — could be catastrophic."

Go deeper

Nov 10, 2020 - Technology

Facebook says 6% of the content its users see is political

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook Tuesday said that political content makes up only about 6% of what users actually see on its platform.

Why it matters: The new number is meant to provide context for reports that have focused on the viral popularity of conservative political content on Facebook.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
6 hours ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

7 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.