Small Business Majority Lauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that will Help Small Businesses Grow and Thrive; Disappointed Small Business Emergency Funds Used to Pay for Bill
Statement from John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, on the importance of advancing the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will enact robust investments small businesses need to help them compete in a challenging marketplace
“We applaud the U.S. Senate’s decision to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create a strong foundation for small business recovery post-pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the needs and vulnerabilities of our nation’s 30 million small businesses, particularly those in under-resourced communities. Our recent survey revealed that 19% of small business owners say their business conditions are declining compared to the previous month, and 27% of businesses reported they may not survive past the next six months without additional funding or market changes. Moreover, women and entrepreneurs of color were disproportionately denied the full COVID federal relief funding they needed to help their businesses stay afloat.
Our nation’s failing infrastructure has exacerbated problems with our business ecosystems. Small businesses need a healthy public infrastructure to obtain supplies, get their goods to market, enable their employees to work efficiently and survive extreme weather events. Moreover, many small businesses in low-income and rural areas have struggled to maintain the online customer base they built during the pandemic without access to high-speed Internet connections. We are glad that the Senate has passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes critical investments that will help secure a more solid path for small businesses on their road to recovery, and we look forward to the House of Representatives passing the legislation forthwith.
Although the bipartisan infrastructure bill is a necessary first step to economic recovery, we are disappointed that the package will be paid for in part by pulling billions of much-needed dollars from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant and loan programs. While economies are reopening around the country, business is not back to “normal” for many small business owners. There is still a substantial pool of money left in the pot of emergency relief funds, now inaccessible to hard-hit small businesses waiting and hoping for this already allocated assistance. In fact, according to our survey, of those businesses who applied for the EIDL advance, 28% are awaiting a decision from the SBA about their advance, and 23% were denied.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill creates opportunities for small businesses to grow and thrive, but more is needed. We look forward to Congress continuing to work to strengthen America’s future by passing additional legislation with components from the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan not contained in the bipartisan bill.”
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 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.