As the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and Paycheck Protection Program Come to an End, Congress Must Make More Small Business Grants Available
With key federal relief programs out of funds, more than 1,500 business organizations and small business owners nationwide express need for unrestricted direct grant assistance for hard-hit small businesses
Washington, D.C.—With the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) now closed and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) nearly out of funds, small business groups and business owners around the country are calling for the creation of more direct grants that would offer additional assistance to hard-hit small businesses.
While PPP provided a crucial lifeline for many businesses, the program’s rollout, technical errors, and restrictive loan parameters caused many small businesses—especially newer businesses and under-resourced communities—to fall through the cracks. These deficiencies are a contributing factor that explains why many small businesses are being left out of our nascent economic recovery. In fact, a recent survey of Small Business Majority’s network revealed that even as economic conditions started to improve for some small businesses, small businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color are disproportionately lagging behind white-owned businesses. Fifteen percent of Latino and 13% of Black entrepreneurs said their business was temporarily closed, compared to 6% of white business owners. The survey also found that 35% of Black entrepreneurs reported that business conditions were worsening, and 37% said that they may not survive the next three months. This comes as 36% of small businesses overall said conditions are somewhat improving for their business.
Small business owners need flexibility when it comes to funding,” said Kricket Caffery, owner of PegStilts.com in Oregon. “My business is 13 years old, and I run it entirely on my own. I have tried numerous ways to secure funding for my business over the last year given the significant decrease in sales, but I can't commit to PPP or EIDL loans because I can't repay them. I even tried applying for grants—33 of them to be exact—but only received two for a total of $5,000. I’m a veteran, a woman and LGBTQ, and I still haven’t been able to find targeted relief. If grants aren’t made available for people like me, then I don’t know who can get them.”
Small businesses, particularly those owned by women and entrepreneurs of color, are still struggling one year into the pandemic. This is why more than 1,500 small business owners and business organizations are calling on Congress to consider additional grant relief for vulnerable businesses that have been left behind by PPP and other federal aid programs.
“Grants are the number one priority for small businesses to get back on their feet,” said John Arensmeyer, founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “In fact, 40% of small business owners recently reported they will need no-cost grants or zero interest loans this year to keep their business open and 91% of small businesses say they want Congress to pass legislation authorizing directing grants.”
“Main street businesses have been crying for flexible grants from the beginning. Great strides have been made, but with many businesses not able to access PPP now that banks have shut down applications, and industry specific grants ending without meeting the full need, it’s time to heed that call for all small businesses,” said Stephen Michael, Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance.
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 1,000 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 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About the Main Street Alliance
The Main Street Alliance (MSA) is a national network of small business coalitions working to build a new voice for small businesses on important public policy issues. Main Street Alliance members are working throughout the country to build policies that work for business owners, their employees, and the communities they serve.
MSA is shifting the understanding of what small businesses need on issues of job quality, capital access and economic development, and more. With a network of over 30,000 small businesses, MSA operates chapters or networks in 20 states and this year is building out a broad distributed organizing program that reaches nationwide, empowering small business members to organize their own communities. Our diverse memberships include manufacturers, restaurateurs, accountants, printers, software designers, retailers, mechanics, artists, farmers, childcare providers, professionals, and more.