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Mark Cuban: A Time For Business Leaders to Step Up

The Dallas Mavericks owner tells CNN what he’s doing, seeing, and encouraging in response to the coronavirus crisis.
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Mark Cuban took time out of cocooning and “forced family fun” during spring break to talk with CNN’s Chris Cuomo last night during the network’s “Cuomo Prime Time” show. The Dallas Mavericks owner praised leaders and companies jumping in to help: “I love the way our community is coming together—businesses helping each other. I’m getting emails every minute from organizations.”

Specifically, Cuban talked about events companies that have temporary facilities connecting with hospitals to help expand capacity potentially. He also spoke about employers stepping up to help people who have lost their jobs.

Cuban has emerged as a leadership voice for businesses by sharing his ideas and perspectives via Twitter and encouraging people to #HelpEachOther: “Reminder to Bosses: your employees are just as freaked out and concerned about themselves, family, and friends as you are. Reminder to Employees: your bosses are just as freaked out and concerned about themselves, family, and friends as you are.”

The Mavs owner and Shark Tank investor also spent a day taking questions from small business owners via LinkedIn.

Cuomo asked what the government should do in terms of economic support. “You have to give people a sense of control over their own lives,” Cuban said. “Right now, people feel like they just don’t know what’s next. We have such imperfect information; people are scared.”

Ideas he likes—getting cash to people who need it and opening up loans to small and midsized businesses to help them keep employees. He warned against industry-wide bailouts without guidelines that protect workers: “We have to make sure that we stop things like stock-buybacks or enrichment programs that give bonuses and stock options to CEOs but [don’t help] employees. This is an opportunity for our government  to level the playing field.”

Cuban has been doing his part. His team and the Mavs Foundation are donating $100,000 to Dallas area nonprofits once a month until the team gets back to playing. He’s also making sure all event workers are getting paid “just as if the Mavs games are taking place.” He encourages other business owners who can afford it to keep employees on the payroll or help people find other jobs.

An investor in more than 150 companies, Cuban acknowledged to CNN that some industries (like airlines and entertainment) are hurting, but that other businesses (food companies and makers of other high-demand products) are accelerating. “We’ve got to get those companies to reach out and hire more people because not everybody is getting hurt. Some companies are in a good position, and we need to get those folks to step up.”


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