If we don’t take immediate drastic action, small businesses and our entire economy will be decimated by COVID-19.
The small business sector employs more than 50 million Americans. And our livelihoods in this country are tied to employment. When jobs are on the lines, so are the essential benefits we need to survive: health care, sick days, income. The most efficient way to handle the crisis we’re facing is to keep small businesses solvent and workers employed. Our state based infrastructures are not built for a pandemic. People will be left waiting for a life line.
Small businesses quickly began reporting 10 - 80% decreases in revenue, and many have already been forced to lay off staff and close their businesses. The crisis is taking a toll around the country.
It’s time for a massive stimulus for Main Street. For too long, big businesses have been the only beneficiaries of government bailouts, and we know that these bailouts have largely been spent on stock buy-backs to benefit executives and shareholders and not workers on the front lines.
We need small business stimulus investment now. We need to Keep Main Street Working. It would prevent the carnage to our local economies, our families, and health care facilities and workers.
Main Street small businesses employ – nearly half of the private sector workforce. Small businesses have traditionally led economic recovery, and they accounted for 67 percent of net new jobs following the Great Recession. We need to give small businesses the support they need to drive recovery again.
Main Street Alliance is calling for an unprecedented rapid cash infusion that realizes the critical economic importance of small business. Many of our doors are already closed, our economy can’t afford for more to shut.
We need urgent action to reduce both the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on our local and national economies and potentially stave off a longer term economic crisis or recession. Immediate emergency actions must be taken including:
- Immediate Cash Flow Assistance for Impacted Small Business Owners - direct to all small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to cover immediate business expenses to keep their door open and employees paid (payroll, insurance premiums, paid sick time, rent.) Delay or waive utilities, vendor contracts and ban collection actions.
- Unemployment Insurance and Other Income Supports - federal and state governments should coordinate to dramatically expand who is eligible for Unemployment Insurance to provide immediate and improved income support for small businesses and their employees, and small business experience ratings should not be impacted by layoffs related to COVID-19.
- Affordable Healthcare & Emergency Measures to Protect Coverage - COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccine must be widely accessible and affordable, and states should work with insurance providers to help ensure that small business policies are extended through this crisis, even if a small business owner experiences cash flow issues in their businesses that make paying short-term payments difficult.
- Earned Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) - we support passage of emergency legislation to guarantee 10 paid sick days and 12 weeks paid leave to all workers, together with needed cash advances so small businesses can deliver this benefit to impacted employees. Comprehensive national paid leave legislation is also needed so we are better prepared for future health crises.
Small businesses across the country demand swift action from our government. An immediate cash injection is the only thing that will help us and our employees now.
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