The CSF represents large companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, but the majority of its members are small and medium-sized entrepreneurial companies that are prone to the be impacted by the COVID- 19 pandemic
Fremont, CA: The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), an industry group representing 85 companies in the space sector, is working with congressional committees to ensure coronavirus stimulus legislation includes assistance for small and mid-size suppliers. The CSF represents large companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin, but the majority of its members are small and medium-sized entrepreneurial companies that are prone to the be impacted by the COVID- 19 pandemic. According to CSF President Eric Stallmer, the smaller companies stand the risk of going out of business or their investments drying up due to the outbreak of the virus.
“The large companies will weather the storm,” he said. “I’m worried about their suppliers. Those are going to need help.” Last week, the CSF sent a letter to the congressional leaders warning that the unfolding crisis threatens to inflict lasting harm to the space industry. The current emergency is unprecedented and has an impact on nearly every sector of the U.S. economy. As a result, it is not helpful for trade organizations to fight over what industries should deserve help from the government at the expense of others. “We recognize the number-one priority is the health of the nation,” said Stallmer.
The space industry in the U.S. enjoys widespread support from Capitol Hill due to its significance in national security and for being a driving factor of economic growth. “Congressional staff and members that have been champions of the space industry reached out to us and asked what they can do to help,” said Stallmer. One of CSF's proposal includes the establishment of a USD 5 billion grant or low-interest loan program to help small and medium firms weather the storm over the next several months.
Stallmer stated that it is difficult to pin down solutions with everything being very fluid with the virus still spreading and Congress writing legislation while events unfold. “We are asking for help so small companies can keep their employees through the crisis,” he said. “This is not the time for everyone to try to push their wish list.”
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