Washington, D.C. — More than a dozen national and local small business organizations, together with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, have released a proposal to address the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Small independent businesses are facing an unprecedented crisis, and without immediate and aggressive federal action, many will not be able to survive.
The proposed plan strongly emphasizes grants and subsidies, rather than loans only. Small businesses need immediate cash assistance in order to weather this crisis, keep their staff employed, and be in a position to lead an economic recovery. Loans alone will leave many small businesses crippled by excessive debt and at risk of failure.
“Without decisive and bold action from Congress now, small independent businesses risk being completely wiped out,” said Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “Grants, not loans, are essential. In a volatile and uncertain period, small business owners cannot take on crippling levels of debt. When life returns to normal, we need small businesses to be ready to rebuild the economy and restore the vitality of our communities.”
The plan calls for rapid-response grants to keep small businesses afloat during the immediate crisis, followed by subsidies tied to payroll during periods of social distancing. The plan also calls for an expansion of federal loans and loan guarantees. It urges lawmakers to reject opportunism by politically powerful corporations and ensure that bailout programs do not exacerbate market concentration. Finally, it expresses strong support for measures to support individuals, including direct cash assistance and healthcare.
The proposal has been co-signed by the following organizations:
Allison K Hill, Chief Executive Officer
American Booksellers Association
White Plains, New York
Derek Peebles, Executive Director
American Independent Business Alliance
Open Markets Institute
Kimberley Mosley, President
American Specialty Toy Retailing Association
Mike Tucker, President and CEO
Independent Office Products & Furniture Dealers Association
Terry Schalow, Executive Director
Running Industry Association
Kristen Lavelett, Executive Director
Local First Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Jamee Haley, Executive Director
Lowcountry Local First
Charleston, South Carolina
Dana Eness, Executive Director
New Orleans, Louisiana
Kimber Lanning, Executive Director
Local First Arizona
Kim Dreux-Kelly and Kare Baker, Executive Management Team
Think Local First D.C.
Rebecca Melançon, Executive Director
Austin Independent Business Alliance
Mary Alice Scott. Executive Director
Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance
Collin Murray, Executive Director
Dane Buy Local
Theodora M. Skeadas, Executive Director
Cambridge Local First
Jennifer Rubenstein, Director
Louisville Independent Business Alliance
FOR MORE INFORMATION and to schedule an interview with Stacy Mitchell, call Jess Del Fiacco at 612-844-1330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.