Small Business Group Says Stimulus Loans Are Not Enough to Help Main Street Reopen and Recover

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Stimulus Package Missing Greatest Need for Small Businesses

Washington, DC – Today, Small Business Majority Founder and CEO, John Arensmeyer, released the following statement ahead of the United States Senate vote on an emergency COVID-19 stimulus package (HR 748), which includes $367 billion in small business loans and loan guarantees to help Main Street recover.  

“We are in the midst of what could be the greatest economic downturn in nearly a century, and America’s small businesses have been among the hardest hit. With the market in free fall and uncertainty breeding in communities across the country, businesses on Main Street have been left to grapple on their own with how to stay afloat during these challenging times. Thousands have closed up shop, experienced dramatic losses, been forced to lay off staff en masse, and are left to wonder if they will ever reopen. 

What America’s entrepreneurs need is quick, decisive, and responsible action to provide immediate relief. What they are getting tonight is the exact opposite—a complicated, slow, and cumbersome process that is totally unworkable for small businesses and sure to leave the most vulnerable behind. At the same time, the bill is packed with benefits for big businesses and large corporations which are more likely to be able to withstand an economic downturn.  

The stimulus provides no remedy for the most critical need of small business owners—unrestricted, direct grant assistance. Instead, business owners must apply for loans through an untested system, that is not designed for large-scale economic emergencies, and wait weeks to months to receive the aid they desperately need now.  Although a portion of these loans may be forgiven if a business is able to maintain payroll, fronting salaries is simply not possible for many small businesses who have seen demand for their products and services drop to zero overnight. Moreover, while loans may benefit some small businesses in the long run, asking business owners to assume more debt is not the solution. This bill will leave a gaping hole in the pockets of small business owners. If lawmakers want businesses on Main Street to ever reopen, they must come back to the table and provide real immediate assistance,” said Arensmeyer.

Small Business Majority has called on lawmakers to expand small business assistance to include at minimum $250 billion in direct grant assistance, among other provisions. Additionally, Small Business Majority released a letter signed by more than 2,000 small business owners and organizations demanding Congress make this happen.

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 58,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.