Press Releases

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

WORKERS’ RIGHTS, SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCATES DEMAND STRONGER PROTECTIONS FROM CONGRESS IN NEW COVID-19 RELIEF BILL

Workers, Small Business Owners Declare #WeAreTheEconomy, Call on U.S. Legislators to Extend Life-Saving Benefits Ahead of Looming Deadline

Today, The Center for Popular Democracy and the Main Street Alliance held a virtual press conference to demand that Congress provide greater protection for workers, families, and small business owners in the new COVID-19 relief bill. Life-saving unemployment benefits, which have kept families afloat in the face of economic downturn, are set to expire this Friday, July 31. And in the latest COVID-19 relief proposal, Senate Republicans indicated that they would significantly reduce unemployment benefits, which have been a lifeline for working families, and double down on small business loans like the Payroll Protection Program that has largely excluded Black and Brown business owners. 

Today’s speakers called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst in Iowa, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Susan Collins in Maine, and other Republican lawmakers to extend unemployment insurance, address racial disparities in access to business relief, strengthen small business infrastructure, and support other solutions to uplift working families. A recording of the press conference can be viewed here

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More Needed than HEALS Act to Support Small Businesses

With the majority of small businesses out of PPP dollars and unemployment benefits ending this week, the piecemeal bills that make up the Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act are simply not enough.

More is needed to strengthen support for both working families and small businesses, who will need each other to survive the crisis. Emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the month threatening tens of millions of Americans with a dramatic loss of income that will result in a sharp constriction in consumer spending, further damaging already struggling small businesses. The HEALS Act does too little to stem this drastic tightening of incomes. 

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GOP “Plan” doesn’t acknowledge reality of crisis for small businesses

As COVID-19 infection rates surge, unemployment rates spike and millions of small businesses face imminent closure, small business owners are increasingly frustrated by the failure of Senate Republican Leadership to articulate a workable, long term, comprehensive strategy to combat COVID-19, keep our economy on track and shore up the struggling small business sector.  

As millions of small businesses and working families face extreme economic hardship, GOP leadership, apparently, fails to comprehend the urgency of this moment. Small businesses are nearing the end of their PPP loans, causing a second round of layoffs and with many minority small businesses left out of the program entirely nearly half of a million Black-owned businesses have closed. Emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the month threatening tens of millions of Americans with a dramatic loss of income that will result in a sharp constriction in consumer spending, further damaging already struggling small businesses. 

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The Rockefeller Foundation Supports Main Street Alliance as Part of $10 Million Commitment to Promoting Inclusive Growth in U.S.

Initiative to help eliminate barriers to access capital and credit for small business owners from marginalized communities in Newark, N.J. and Norfolk, Va.

NEW YORK | July 22, 2020 – Today, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Main Street Alliance (MSA) announced a new effort to support small business owners from marginalized communities in Newark, New Jersey, and Norfolk, Virginia, by helping eliminate barriers to access capital and credit. This collaboration is the first to stem from The Rockefeller Foundation Opportunity Collective (ROC), a new initiative announced last month which aims to catalyze public and private sector investment and promote more inclusive growth in 10 cities across the U.S., both in the post-pandemic recovery and over the long term.

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Introducing - A Comprehensive Small Business Agenda for COVID

With COVID-19 on the rise in most states, and federal support for both small businesses and workers coming to an end, we are headed into a dramatically expanding fiscal crisis that has the potential to cause massive bankruptcies, permanent closures and decimation of Main Street small businesses.

But this is not inevitable. There must be a comprehensive set of policy programs that work together to address the severity and potential duration of this crisis. Main Street Alliance is introducing a Small Business Agenda for the lengthening pandemic, to move beyond the short term Paycheck Protection Program and lay a foundation for pandemic resilience and economic recovery.

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Attacking Health Care is just one more Attack on Small Businesses during a major Health Crisis

On the latest briefing filed by the Trump Administration in the Texas vs US lawsuit that is attempting to nullify the Affordable Care Act, Main Street Alliance Executive Director Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

Not even a global pandemic that has infected more than a million Americans will deter the Trump Administration from its goal of gutting the Affordable Care Act and throwing millions of people off of affordable health insurance. This Administration’s relentless effort to undo the ACA appears to have more to do with ideology than pragmatism; the ACA has helped small business owners and individuals access affordable care and destroying the program would leave millions of people in desperate circumstances. We need to make healthcare more universally available and accessible to everyone in our country right now, not less. 

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Trump Administration must release PPP Data Immediately

On the Trump administration’s decision not to release the the SBA loan data, Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance Amanda Ballantyne had this to say:

“Without transparency as to which businesses received the taxpayer funded Paycheck Protection Program, it will be impossible to assess whether the program actually achieved its goals of helping small businesses and maintaining employment during the COVID crisis. It is ridiculous that the Trump Administration would withhold this information and suggests the possibility that they have something to hide.  Bureau of Labor Statistics data has shown that Latinx and Black small business owners have shuttered at 1.5 times and double the rate respectively, compared to overall small businesses, which suggests that federal relief programs are not flowing equitably. Without data on the PPP loan program, we risk not identifying major gaps, and continuing to exacerbate wealth inequality in the country.

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Small Biz Applaud MN Court Decision on Paid Sick Days

Main Street Alliance of Minnesota member businesses applaud the Minnesota Supreme Court in upholding Minneapolis’ Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. 

While the suit and appeal was brought by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce last year, in fact even before the pandemic a majority of small businesses supported paid sick days. A 2017 Main Street Alliance survey of nearly 1,800 small business owners in 17 states found that 64% of respondents supported a nation-wide paid sick days minimum standard like the Healthy Families Act. This increased to 73% when just looking at women small business owners and business owners of color.  

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Senate Passes PPP Fixes - must become law, but need longer term program

Small businesses need all these adjustments, but there are still multiple gaps, including data collection and money for PPE

On the passage of the PPP Flexibility Act in the Senate last night, Executive Director of the Main Street Alliance Amanda Ballantyne has this to say:

“The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act is a first step in addressing the design flaws of the PPP and must immediately go to the President’s desk to become law, however, additional support is necessary to address the ongoing crisis millions of small business owners are still facing.

As protests continue across the nation, we cannot ignore that the PPP is another government program that has continued to expand racial wealth inequality with new data showing that Latinx and Black small businesses have closed at 1.5 times and double the rate respectively, compared to overall small businesses. The PPP fixes are necessary, but still fail to address the continued crisis of access to funding for these small businesses. 

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Main Street Alliance stands in Solidarity with the Black Community of Minneapolis

Main Street Alliance condemns the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis Police Department officers. We stand in solidarity with those demanding justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, and for all who have suffered discrimination, targeting, injury and death because of white supremacy and police brutality. 

As our nation mourns the loss of yet another Black life, we call on white people everywhere, particularly our small business owners who hold social and economic capital in their communities, to wake up, speak up, and stand up to the hate and bigotry that has been excused by many, encouraged by some, or even celebrated by the dangerous right wing – all the way up to the President, Donald Trump. As we stand in the midst of a pandemic that is disproportionately claiming Black lives, we must reckon with how deep our structural and institutionalized racism runs. Our public policies must change. 

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