In a letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the American Institute of Architects asked for improved aid, including loans and tax breaks, to help architecture firms amid the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
"To address pressing short-term economic needs, AIA urges you to expand temporary relief for business owners to avoid layoffs and the sharp economic downturn that would follow," said the statement.
"Architecture firms come in all sizes, but the majority are classified as small businesses. The relief provided in HR 6201 was an important first step, but more will be necessary. Businesses cannot wait until the next tax filing season to see relief."
David Galullo, who is CEO of American design firm Rapt Studio, said that measures to confirm economic stability were necessary to ensure that businesses could keep afloat.
"The biggest impact is the uncertainty," Galullo told Dezeen. "There are many reports that have outlined the potential trajectory of the virus globally and the markets are responding to the potential outcome of the potential trajectory but it's all just guessing."
"Financial stability is built on the foundations of societal, emotional and systemic stability," he added. "With uncertainty comes instability, which leads to a big impact on economic health. We are in a 'wait and see' situation at the moment, waiting for the world around us to become certain."
The $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by the senate and awaiting approval by the house is set to address some of these concerns, and hopefully supply these small firms with loans and grants to keep them afloat and making payroll, but the full ramifications of the long-term economic downturn may not be known for years.