Black-owned and minority businesses have suffered greatly recently with many having to permanently close their doors as a result of the COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, pandemic. Due to economic impact, it’s been reported that nearly 40% of businesses will not be able to survive the public health crisis.
Now Sens. Cory Booker (D- NJ) and Steve Daines (R-MT) are coming together for a new bipartisan proposal that would provide $50 billion in federal aid to Black businesses in cities and rural communities with the support of local mayors all over the country.
According to a recent survey by the Center for Responsible Lending, 95% of Black-owned businesses have not received a PPP loan through the current mainstream financial institutions. “This has nothing to do with politics or partisanship—that’s why Senator Daines and Senator Booker are working together to support and provide relief for America’s smallest businesses and workers,” Daines spokesperson Katie
Schoettler told Newsweek.
“This bipartisan legislation is about taking the decision-making powers out of the hands of Washington D.C. and putting it in the hands of our local communities who know their own needs best,” Daines said. “We need more targeted action that strengthens local response and empowers our local economic development leaders to provide relief for our most vulnerable small and rural businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.”
The bill would greatly aid cities like Los Angeles, where the new proposal would provide millions of dollars in much-needed aid to help keep small businesses from collapsing. The proposal would call for new grants that allow states and lenders more flexibility.
“It’s not as simple as just keeping the lights on for the PPP forever,” said Thomas Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber of Commerce according to Politico. “There really does need to be an emphasis toward the underbanked.”