COVID-19

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson: “The impact to people’s lives will be profound.”

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Mar 26, 2020
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Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson announced thousands of employees would be furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
COVID-19

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson: “The impact to people’s lives will be profound.”

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Mar 26, 2020
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson announced thousands of employees would be furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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The hotel industry has been decimated by the novel coronavirus pandemic, and Marriott chief executive Arne Sorenson has been on the front lines. The COVID-19 pandemic is said to have hurt Marriott International’s business worse than 9/11 and the Great Recession combined.

In an emotional video address released last week, the CEO of the world’s largest hotel company announced that tens of thousands of corporate employees would be furloughed and that he would not take a salary for the rest of the year.

“The impact to people’s lives will be profound,” Sorenson said in an interview with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal. “We’ve got to find a way to get through this together. We will, ultimately.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?

The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.

Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?

The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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