President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate and Key Changes to Small Business Programs are Necessary for Safe Reopening and Long-term Recovery for Small Businesses

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, September 10, 2021

Statement from Awesta Sarkash, Government Affairs Director of Small Business Majority, on President Biden’s proposed path out of the pandemic and its impact on small businesses 

"President Biden’s action plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines and testing is the right step in a path towards recovery from the pandemic. Small businesses are facing tremendous setbacks from the current surge in COVID-19 cases, and they need support and resources to operate at capacity while staying safe. Indeed, our recent survey found 19% of small businesses say their conditions are on the decline compared to the previous month. We support efforts to jumpstart the economy and minimize any additional lockdowns for small businesses. 

We are glad that the President’s proposal includes streamlining the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness process, finalizing review of the Community Navigator Program, and expanding the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides long-term, low-cost loans. Hard-hit entrepreneurs are still struggling to keep their businesses afloat and need more significant repayment and loan forgiveness flexibility. In fact, 27% of small businesses may not survive past the next six months without additional funding or market changes. These challenges are compounded because many small businesses, particularly those owned by people of color, struggled to access aid through the initial rounds of PPP and other federal relief programs. 

To protect our local economy and our small businesses, we must take the necessary steps to ensure that our job creators experience few disruptions to their business operations. This will require enacting bold policies, such as the Administration’s COVID-19 action plan. We are happy to see measures taken on the federal level to ensure small businesses can turn a corner by increasing the funding they need to maintain their business operations and hire employees."

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 80,000 small businesses and 1,000 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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