U.S. Aid Package Aimed at Companies Across K/B Market
WASHINGTON, DC — Companies and individuals across the entire spectrum of the kitchen/bath, new construction and residential remodeling markets stand to benefit, to varying degrees, under the terms of the massive, $2-trillion government stimulus package aimed at mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy.
The bipartisan legislation, unprecedented in its size and scope, was agreed to in principle early today and was expected to win swift Senate approval. Once approved by the House of Representatives, the aid package was expected to be signed into law by President Trump, setting the stage for what Congressional leaders and Administration officials hope can be the initial phase of a robust economic recovery.
The far-reaching economic stimulus package, among other sweeping provisions, would create a $367-billion loan program for eligible small businesses, establish a $500-billion lending fund for eligible industries, cities and states, and see $1,200 checks sent by April 6 to eligible Americans. Other provisions of the legislation include a massive expansion of unemployment insurance benefits, the availability of low- or zero-interest business loans and $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds. Businesses of all sizes, many of which are being threatened with bankruptcy, would be potential beneficiaries of the various programs.
Businesses throughout the kitchen and bath design community, retail landscape and product-supply chain, like businesses across America, are being significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus outbreak and are scrambling to implement a wide range of mitigation strategies in response to the highly fluid public health crisis.
Kitchen/bath dealerships, design firms, remodelers, architects, cabinet shops, fabricators and others have been in a virtual state of paralysis for days, if not weeks: voluntarily, or being forced to, shutter factories, showrooms and shops; suspending or revising operations; reducing hours, cancelling or postponing client meetings, and requiring employees to work remotely.
According to an online poll conducted by Kitchen & Bath Design News, a whopping 87.6% of surveyed dealers, designers and remodelers report that the novel coronavirus is having a palpable operational impact on their business – with 36.4% reporting that the impact is “significant,” 29.5% saying it is “moderate” and 21.7% saying it is “marginal.”
Similar percentages of dealers and designers report that the COVID-19 outbreak is also having a significant impact on current and anticipated 2020 revenue and profit, as they witness uncertain, frightened kitchen/bath consumers cancelling projects and postponing remodeling decisions in the face of stock market volatility, job layoffs, pay cuts, social-distancing requirements and declines in personal wealth.
Manufacturers, distributors and importers, facing significant sales slowdowns and supply chain disruptions, have been similarly impacted as they adhere to mitigation directives from health experts and government officials who have shuttered public facilities, closed schools, restricted travel and mandated that companies adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
Editor’s Note: Kitchen & Bath Design News will provide regular updates, both online and in print, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the kitchen and bath industry.