Successes! And Updates from Main Street Alliance

Celebrating our Successes!

The last two months have seen big progress for paid leave

June saw some major successes across the country. Join us in celebrating wins in Oregon, Nevada, Connecticut, Maine and more!

Connecticut, and then Oregon became the 8th and 9th states (including DC) to enact Paid Family and Medical Leave programs last month. Oregon passed the most progressive paid leave bill in the country on June 30th, which will be signed shortly by Governor Kate Brown. Oregon’s law has been heralded as the most generous paid family and medical leave law in the United States, including 100 percent wage replacement for low wage workers, up to 12 weeks of paid time and expanding reasons for leave to include victims of domestic violence. 

Small businesses were key in getting the bill passed as a priority. While the bill mandates businesses with at least 25 employees contribute to the fund, employees from all firm sizes are covered and smaller businesses and the self-employed can also opt-in.

“We congratulate Oregon for supporting family-friendly business policies,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of Main Street Alliance. “Our members in Oregon have long needed this bill to support themselves, their employees, and offer competitive benefits.”

Both Maine and Nevada approved paid time off and earned sick days laws as well. Most of Maine’s workforce is guaranteed access to paid sick time under a bill Gov. Janet Mills signed into law May 28, and Nevada passed SB 312 in mid-June, guaranteeing paid time off, including earned sick days, for employees of businesses with 50 or more employees. We will continue to work with these legislatures for full paid leave bills in the future, but excited about these first steps for job quality legislation that supports small business owners and their employees.

But these weren't the only wins - small business owners rallied to support these laws and guard against carve outs across the country. Check out our full legislative success this season across our network states:

 

Child Care for All 

Updates and How to Get Involved

Last month we introduced a new campaign to Main Street Alliance members - a sign-on letter to support quality, affordable child care for all through The Child Care For Working Families Act.

The lack of a good, affordable child care system is crushing families, workers, and small businesses. This doesn’t just hurt small business owners and our employees - it also contributes to inequality when it comes to race, gender and wealth. Access to stable, quality, affordable child care improves employee morale, reduces absenteeism and increases business productivity.  It creates a more stable workforce, reducing recruiting, training and turnover costs. Political leaders who care about small businesses, our employees, and our communities will support public solutions for affordable, quality child care for all.

Learn more about the issue and add your name to support a federal policy as a small business owner here:

Sign-On to Support Child Care

Small Business Economy

Updates and How to Get Involved

On June 15th, Main Street Alliance staff and small business owner and member Tameka Ramsey joined Detroit Action, formally Good Jobs Now, at the Neighborhoods Summit to lead a discussion around the small business economy and capital access issues, particularly for businesses owned by people of color.

This was the first of a series of round tables and interviews to get input from small business owners of color on the challenges they face with access to credit. Have a story to share? Contact us! 

“We can’t isolate racial justice from economic justice,” said Detroit Action’s Executive Director Branden Snyder in an interview during the event.

The full #FutureOfTheHood event lasted all day and highlighted speakers included Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.

Lawsuit filed against Trump Administration’s CFPB on failing to collect data on lending discrimination

Two of our members, ReShonda Young in Iowa and Deb Fields in Oregon, have joined the lawsuit against the CFPB for failure to implement section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Despite the strength of their businesses, both Deb and ReShonda have been turned away by banks after seeking loans, and they've really struggled to get the financing they need. 

Now they're standing alongside our friends at the California Reinvestment Coalition and the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders to ensure that the CFPB does its part on transparency and fair lending. 

You can read more about their experiences in the Waterloo Courier and the Portland Business Journal and our press release about the lawsuit and why it matters.

And more on Lending Discrimination…

In addition to the CFPB lawsuit, Main Street Alliance has put together a campaign to ask the government to investigate small business lending.  Since the 2008 financial crisis, bank loans to small businesses have decreased by 20 percent, while loans to larger businesses have increased. Nearly half of all small business owners have experienced problems obtaining credit. Though all small businesses are affected, the problem is especially dire for people of color and woman-owned businesses.

Add your name to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to immediately begin an investigation into discrimination in small business lending.

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