The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to proposed legislation that will provide an additional $310 billion in funding for Paycheck Protection Program loans to help small businesses retain jobs:

“The new loan funding will help thousands of construction firms to retain essential construction jobs amid rapidly declining demand for construction services. As one of the relatively few sectors of the economy still operating, construction firms still have significant payrolls in need of protection. But with more than 50 percent of construction firms reporting project cancellations or delays, construction employers are struggling to retain workers. This new proposed legislation will help protect thousands of construction jobs, providing relief for our already hurting economy.

“We urge Congress to quickly pass this legislation so the President can sign it into law and reopen the loan program. At the same time, Congress and the Trump administration must begin work—now—on measures designed to rebuild our economy. These measures must include new infrastructure funding, relief for multi-employer retirement plans and compensation for cancelled or delayed federal construction projects. Preserving jobs now is important; but making sure there is a need for those workers after the pandemic is essential.”

Read more coverage on the coronavirus crisis in the construction and skilled trades industry