Legendary investor Warren Buffett joined Goldman Sachs Group CEO David Solomon and CNBC’s Becky Quick on “Squawk Box” for a phone interview Tuesday to discuss the impact of the pandemic on small businesses.

The Pandemic and Small Business: The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said the country owes it to millions of small businesses to renew the Paycheck Protection Program.

“When we went into World War II, a lot of industries were shut down; everything went to the defense production. Well, we’ve shut down a lot of people in this particular induced recession and others are prospering,” said Buffett.

Buffett said he hopes Congress steps up and he believes they will.

“It’s so important that small businesses — which have become collateral damage in a war that our country needed to fight — but we in effect voluntarily had an induced shutdown of parts of the economy.”

Solomon On Small Businesses: The Goldman Sachs CEO said small businesses need capital to get to the finish line.

“Ninety percent of them have exhausted their PPP funding at this point. If we lose these small businesses as a society, we lose big,” said Solomon.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, he said.

Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Voices: The interview also highlighted the 10,000 Voices program from Goldman Sachs.

The program helps small businesses. More than 10,000 entrepreneurs have graduated from the program. The program’s alumni represent over $14 billion in revenue.

Over 66% of participants in the program increase revenue within months of graduation and 46% create new jobs in six months after graduation.

Buffett has turned down numerous offers to speak at graduation ceremonies around the country, but the Goldman Sachs event is one graduation ceremony where Buffett speaks.

Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

This story originally appeared on Benzinga.

© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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