|Posted:||January 20, 2022 06:18 PM|
|From:||Senator Lisa M. Boscola and Sen. Marty Flynn|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||American Rescue Plan funding for Main Street Business Revitalization Program|
|In the near future, we plan on introducing legislation to appropriate $500 million of the approximately $2.4 billion remaining from the Commonwealth’s American Rescue Plan funds to assist small businesses through the Main Street Business Revitalization Program. This is a companion piece to the $500 million proposal for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program.
As the omicron variant sweeps across the nation, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to break records and is leading many businesses to rethink their decision to bring employees back to the office. Moreover, we have all heard of a business shutting down for a day or longer because too many of their employees have tested positive to be able to safely open.
During the best of times small businesses are the backbone of our communities. They support our little leagues and various youth programs, donate their goods and services for school and other community fundraisers, and small business money stays local. When we spend money at a privately-owned local store, that money goes to pay a worker in your neighborhood, who, in turn, is likely to spend money at another neighborhood business. Many of these mom and pop, main street businesses have only a handful of employees and have been unprepared to tap into the network of assistance available. Main street, mom and pop businesses need someone with a demonstrated capacity to focus on their critical needs.
Our proposal would direct $500 million of funds in the COVID-19 Response Restricted Account to the Department of Community and Economic Development for distribution to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and other economic development organizations to provide support and assistance to small businesses through the Main Street Business Revitalization Program. Assistance will be available to help these small businesses cover losses or make accommodations relating to COVID-19.
Demands for previous assistance far exceeded what was made available, and the situation will only get worse at a time when COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. We hope you will join us in sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as SB1086