As Vote Stalls, Small Business Majority Demands Congress Increase COVID-19 Stimulus Funding for Small Businesses

For Immediate Release: 
Sunday, March 22, 2020

Anything short of $250 billion in direct small business grants, in addition to loans, is insufficient

Washington, DC — Today, Small Business Majority demanded that Congress increase its COVID-19 stimulus funding for small businesses to $500 billion. In a letter to Congressional Leadership and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Small Business Committees, Small Business Majority recommended that a half trillion of small business stimulus be split evenly between expanded loans and direct cash assistance for small businesses of 2 to 100 employees. Current Congressional proposals only include $350 billion of assistance structured as loans, which will not help the many businesses that have already been forced to layoff employees and cannot afford to take on additional debt. 

“We greatly appreciate your work in ensuring small business loan assistance is a key provision in the COVID-19 stimulus plan; however, we are hearing from thousands of small business owners nationwide that what they truly need right now to survive is grant assistance,” wrote John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO of Small Business Majority.

“The current stimulus package must be amended to include at least $250 billion in stimulus relief for the small business community in the form of small business grants. Anything short of this will slow recovery efforts, fail America’s small businesses and their employees, and represent an abdication of duty in supporting those who need our help most right now,” Arensmeyer concluded. 

This week alone 2.25 million Americans applied for unemployment and businesses across the country closed for an indefinite period. As a result, nearly 1,500 business owners and organizations in Small Business Majority’s national network have signed a national campaign calling on Congress to provide direct cash assistance for small businesses in need. 

In addition to requesting $500 billion in direct cash assistance and loans for small businesses, Small Business Majority proposed:

  • Expanding unemployment insurance to cover the self-employed and protect business owners from being penalized for having to lay off employees during the pandemic;
  • Placing current small business debt in forbearance for at least six months;
  • Increasing the CDFI Fund to $1 billion to be used particularly for disadvantaged and rural communities; and 
  • Ensure all SBA loans and/or grants awarded to small businesses are quick and immediate so that small businesses are not receiving loans months after an application is submitted.

The full text of today’s letter can be found here. A comprehensive look at Small Business Majority’s COVID-19 policy proposals can be found here, and a copy of a letter signed by nearly 1,500 business owners calling on Congress to provide direct cash assistance can be found here.  

For members of the media that wish to speak with small business owners about or John Arensmeyer about small business recovery policy, please contact Aimee Brierly at [email protected].

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.