Detroit Regional Chamber explains resources for businesses rocked by pandemic

Detroit, and the entire metro area, has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 virus, the question is what's out there to help businesses? To help break it down for us, joining us is Sandy Baruah, the president of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

FOX 2: "Talk about what business should keep in mind right now."

"I've been through a lot of crisis, I had a role after 9/11, a role after Hurricane Katrina, and a pretty big role during the credit crisis," he said. "The main difference I see here is the federal government and the business community is very much more aligned than they were in previous crisis.

"We see businesses helping other businesses. One of the things that I am most gratified about, is landlords really extending the hand of friendship and compassion to their residential tenants and business tenants. We are in this one all together and that makes it different than our other crisis.

FOX 2: "We're not strangers to the economic crisis that we're feeling right now. We all remember 2008, 2009. How do you compare that with now?"

"I think we learned some lessons in 2008, 2009 as a society," said Baruah. "One, this federal government, particularly this paycheck protection program, the $350 billion program. The way they came up with that number is that they took every for-profit business in the country with 500 employees or less and added up what their payrolls were, and that's how they got to the $350 billion.

"So that's how forward leaning the federal government is being this time, and you know, having had a role during the administration back in 2008, I wish we were as forward leaning back then. We just didn't know. We actually undershot the crisis. Here I think we're coming closer to meeting the crisis where the crisis, is."

FOX 2: "What can businesses do as they struggle right now? What resources are there?"

"You need to check these loan programs, and these loan programs -- and I'm going to use the words "loans" in air quotes. A lot of these programs are actually turning into grant programs.  The federal program for example, you can get the portion of your payroll, rent, and utilities forgiven after 10 weeks. They can be completely written off. And the only part of the loan that you have to pay back with the portion of your loan that doesn't go to rent, utilities or payroll."