Press Releases

For press inquiries, contact Sarah Crozier at sarah@mainstreetalliance.org.

Multiple Senate Bills Introduced to Support Small Business, but need to move faster

We will need all these fixes and other programs to fill gaps to support the economy

On the introduction of the Paycheck Security Act and many bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program fixes yesterday, Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

“It is frustrating to see the delay on critical and necessary changes to the flawed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will make the program more functional for small business owners who have received PPP loans. With many bills introduced yesterday working to fix different areas of the program, offices and committees must work together to provide relief from all angles. 

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Small Biz Oppose Corporate Immunity Push

Main Street Alliance sent a letter to Congressional leaders last week warning them of the danger to small businesses by pushing forward corporate immunity, a long time goal of large corporations looking to undo decades of worker and consumer protections.

Download a PDF of the Full Letter:

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader McCarthy:

Main Street Alliance is a national network of 30,000 small business owners. We are writing to express our deep opposition to the creation of corporate immunity for irresponsible businesses that expose customers and workers to coronavirus. Corporate immunity is unnecessary to protect small business owners, as state law already protects responsible business owners who act reasonably. Moreover, creating this type of blanket immunity from lawsuits by injured workers or consumers would give bad actors a competitive edge at the cost of people’s lives, adding to the harm that responsible Main Street businesses are already suffering. This would create a race-to-the-bottom dynamic that creates unfair competition for businesses concerned about reopening before it is safe to do so.

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HEROES Act Important, but short term solution

On the passage of the HEROES Act in the House today - Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

“It was important for the House to pass the HEROES Act, which included immediate and necessary fixes to the Paycheck Protection Program, an expanded payroll subsidy program through the Employee Retention Tax Credit and other needed provisions.

However, these are short term solutions to a long term crisis that is roiling our economy, endangering small businesses and throwing millions of people’s lives into financial chaos. To preserve our small business economy, we need legislation that creates lasting certainty for small business owners. We must look to a set of programs that work together to mitigate mass unemployment and stabilize small businesses.  Proposals like the Paycheck Guarantee Act, Saving Our Streets Act, and work-sharing expansions need to be worked into this next relief package.  Small business owners also need critical financial support in the form of grants, not loans, for retrofitting for safety in this ongoing pandemic.”


Read more on where the HEROES Act can be improved, and how the Senate should bolster these important fixes.

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ICYMI - Quotes on Pandemic Resilience and Reopening from Small Biz

Certain foundations and safeguards must be place, a liability shield is not one of them

In a virtual press call yesterday, small businesses from across the country shared what they need to have in place to even think about the next phase of reopening. From a public health plan that includes adequate testing, to industry specific safety standards, to the child care and paid leave infrastructure to support their employees, small businesses are being forced to consider reopening sooner than is safe because their government leaders have quit the fight.

The job of Main Street now is to adapt, but small businesses can’t go it alone. They need government to do the job of fighting the pandemic while sheltering Main Street and protecting businesses in our hardest-hit communities. 

Though many governors and local officials have acted to slow transmission, our elected leaders -- starting at the federal level -- have not established an infrastructure for pandemic resilience. Our abysmal testing levels are just one example.

"Many of these plans are being laid out under the false choice of rescuing the economy and saving peoples lives," said Amanda Ballantyne, Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance during the call.

To phase in operations, we need a fully-funded and coordinated strategy guided by evidence-based thresholds at all levels of government. Businesses should not be asked to put ourselves, our workers and customers at risk until these common sense measures are met. 

See the full set of Main Street's Recommendations for Pandemic Resilience.

Watch the full press call.

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Small Biz on HEROES Act - PPP Fixes necessary but job not done

Big strides to fix PPP, more support needed for long term 

On the release of the Congressional House Democrat's Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Stimulus Act (HEROES Act) today, Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance, Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

"We applaud Congressional House Democrats for their leadership as the COVID-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc on our public health and economy. The HEROES Act takes strides to fix problems in previous federal response legislation. While this bill expands critical payroll support through the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), this program -- as with much of the small business relief we’ve seen -- does not go far enough.

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Main Street Recommendations for Pandemic Resilience

Main Street Businesses Need Government Leaders to Do Their Job So We Can Do Ours.

Main Street business owners know public health and economic prosperity go hand-in-hand. We cannot fight the economic crisis without fighting the health crisis.

The pandemic has devastated millions of small businesses, with owners running through personal savings and juggling payments and debt. Systemic racism has led to an especially steep toll in communities of color while worsening the crisis for everyone in the country.

The job of Main Street now is to adapt, but small businesses can’t go it alone. They need government to do the job of fighting the pandemic while sheltering Main Street and protecting businesses in our hardest-hit communities. 

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As PPP leaves small businesses behind, The Saving Our Streets Act fills in some immediate gaps

On the release of the Saving Our Streets Act from Senator Kamala Harris, Main Street Alliance Executive Director Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

"The Saving Our Streets Act is exactly the kind of targeted, streamlined support small businesses need to make it through this crisis. For the millions of micro, small, veteran, disability and minority-owned businesses left out of the Paycheck Protection Program or shuffled to the back of the line, the Saving Our Streets Act provides a critical lifeline. The dual approach of direct funding and targeted recipients, rather than targeted lenders is key to making sure the right support gets to all communities.

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Major gaps on PPP rules still unresolved as 2nd round of funding goes out

Design flaws in the program still need to be resolved

As the second round of Paycheck Protection Program Funding starts up today, Main Street Alliance Executive Director Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

"It is reckless for the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department to release a second round of funding before clarifying the major gaps and issues with the Paycheck Protection Program. The program still lacks clear terms for forgiveness, rules prohibiting banks from again prioritizing applications of larger clients, and guidance for new lenders to come online to the program.  The dangerous inequities we saw with the first round will not be resolved. Minority-, immigrant- and women-owned businesses are still being left out. With funding likely to run out in 48 hours, it is ludicrous that Congress thinks it has done its job supporting small businesses.

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On COVID 3.5 - Additional PPP Funding Necessary but Not Sufficient

On the passage of the COVID 3.5 bridge bill, Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance, Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

“For small business owners facing increasingly dire circumstances, additional funding for the existing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) is necessary but not nearly sufficient. The serious design flaws of the PPP will not be solved by throwing more money at these programs. Even the new inclusion of Community Development Financial Institutions and other dedicated funding for smaller lending institutions to meet the needs of minority-owned, unbanked and rural businesses around the country will not go far enough to secure our small business economy. 

 

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Small Businesses Furious at Paycheck Protection Program Structure that Allowed Banks to Make Their Own Rules

With allegations that major banks shuffled Paycheck Protection Program applications to prioritize larger loan amounts and bigger businesses, Main Street businesses are furious. This possibility points to a clear design flaw in the program that tried to use the private lending market, already rife with discrimination and putting profits over all, as the mechanism for small business relief. Small businesses are demanding that any new funding must come directly to them via subsidies, not loans, and it must prioritize those who were left out.

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