The Colorado Association of Home Builders hosted a virtual town hall with Senator Cory Gardner on Tuesday, April 21. Gardner updated members about the federal response to COVID-19 and how he’s working on behalf of Colorado’s building industry.
Gardner said the federal government is taking a three-prong approach to fighting COVID-19:
Taking steps to flatten the curve.
Making sure individuals are taken care including providing relief to pay rent/mortgage, keep their job and provide for their family.
Ensuring businesses can meet payroll and keep their doors open.
Gardner spoke just hours before the Senate approved a nearly $500 billion aid package for small businesses and hospitals hit hard by the pandemic. The deal includes more than $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program.
During the town hall Gardner was optimistic the package would pass telling members, “keeping people employed with their business is critically important to success and the economic rebound that this country will need.”
Funding from the first package dried up fast. According to Gardner about 13% of the $350 billion in funds went to the construction industry. He encouraged members to apply for the second round of funding. “We need to get money into businesses across Colorado,” Gardner said. “We need to take extraordinary action to get the economy back on its feet.”
Gardner addressed members concerns about how to reopen safely. “Testing and behavior is the key to getting people back to work,” Gardner said. He said getting back to work is a delicate balance between economic and public health. While more tests and antibody tests are needed to get Coloradans back to work, testing alone won’t stop a surge if people stop being careful. He said people will need to continue to be vigilant about social-distancing and hand-washing and that people with underlying risks will likely need to remain home.