Retailers employ millions. But the government’s rescue could leave out some of the biggest names.

Last month, the Fed set up two programs in response to the coronavirus crisis that will support lending billions to big companies. But only firms deemed the most stable – that is, those that have at least an “investment grade” bond rating — are allowed to participate. The list of major retailers whose bond rating has fallen short of that standard includes some of the biggest names: Macy’s, Gap, JC Penney, Dillard’s, Belk, Neiman Marcus and J Crew.

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