CHAMPAIGN — Jimmy John’s founder Jimmy John Liautaud is one of more than 200 business leaders who will serve on President Donald Trump’s newly created economic-revival team.
Liautaud will be part of the food-and-beverage industry group, along with executives from large chains such as McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Subway.
“So thrilled to join this group of industry leaders to help America recover,” Liautaud said.
The group held its first phone meeting Wednesday, Liautaud told The News-Gazette.
“Lots of moving parts,” he said.
Liautaud said the $2.2 trillion relief package will provide some help to small businesses, but he’ll be encouraging the Trump administration to focus on using free markets to help the economy, a consistent theme of his.
“The free-market system will be 10 times faster and exponentially more efficient then any stimulus or government-run program,” he argued.
Liautaud said he’d encourage the White House to temporarily relax labor laws and provide rent relief.
“A little rent relief, ease the regulations and small business will do all the heavy lifting,” he said.
Liautaud said he’s been impressed with how quickly businesses have adapted to life under the coronavirus.
What has “taken place in our industry in the last 45 days is nothing short of extraordinary,” he said.
In response to the pandemic, Jimmy John’s has expanded its sick leave and pay policy, leaned on its long experience with delivery and launched on-demand bread delivery.