Paying for COVID Aid by Removing Funding from Small Business Programs will Harm Our Recovery
Statement from John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on pay-fors for the Bipartisan COVID Supplemental Appropriations Act
“Small businesses across the country are still struggling to navigate the pandemic's impacts on their business and their employees. In fact, our recent polling found that nearly 4 in 10 small businesses say their revenue has declined since this time last year, and only half think their business will survive indefinitely without additional funding or market changes. While we agree with and support new efforts by Congress to advance additional pandemic relief, we strongly disagree with funding these efforts by pulling billions of dollars from critical programs small businesses need to grow and thrive. Today, we sent a letter to congressional leaders opposing such pay-fors for this Act.
Last year, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) allocated new funding to reauthorize the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI has been a critical resource to strengthen state programs that support financing for vulnerable small businesses across the country. Additionally, COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs have provided more than 650,000 small businesses in the hardest-hit, low-income areas with small grants, low interest and long-term loans. Given the challenging recovery rate for many small businesses, getting emergency economic relief into the hands of those still struggling to rebuild was necessary to keep our nation from falling off a financial cliff.
National research has clearly shown that COVID relief programs have been successful at helping smaller firms keep their doors open. This is why rescinding funding from instrumental programs like the SSBCI and EIDL will set back the progress and momentum of small business owners who are working to keep their businesses afloat despite ongoing challenges such as barriers to capital, unequal access to resources and benefits, and unlevel playing fields.
We ask that Congress identify other ways to pay for the current $10 billion COVID relief package that will not harm the small business ecosystem. Thousands of small businesses have already been left behind and will continue to struggle to return to business as “normal” without targeted aid. While we are glad that negotiations on additional COVID relief are happening, we urge Congress to pass a plan that would retain full support for all of America’s job creators.”
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,500 business and community organizations to deliver resources to entrepreneurs and advocate for public policy solutions that promote inclusive small business growth. Our work is bolstered by extensive research and deep connections with the small business community that enable us to educate stakeholders about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.