Entrepreneur, NBA owner, and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban told Cheddar on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic could signal a shift in the U.S. economy toward workers in what he dubbed "America 2.0."
"You've really got to put your workers first," he said. "We've always talked about trickle-down economics. Now we've got to look at trickle-up economics."
Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, has already gotten attention for keeping on his hourly employees even after the NBA suspended the regular season due to coronavirus
"Nothing is going to happen unless workers feel confident when they go to work that they're going to be safe," he said.
How companies treat their employees, stakeholders, and customers during this crisis is going to "define your brand for a long time to come," he added.
The entrepreneur also didn't get ahead of himself in predicting an end to the business shutdown that has hobbled large cross-sections of the economy.
"I'm not going to tell my employees to go back to work or go out into the markets until they're safe," Cuban said. "I just couldn't in good conscience do that."
He echoed this sentiment in talking about the return of sports, as all the major leagues have been put on hold.
"While we need sports, while we need something to cheer for, while we want something to get behind and get excited about, we can't risk people's lives," he said.
Cuban also criticized the execution of the current government stimulus aid, which he stated has so far failed to facilitate lending to small businesses.
"Hopefully within the next five to seven days, the banks will start being able to loan money to the millions of small businesses that need it," he said.