Lawmakers call for help for small businesses at all levels of government

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Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for increased government action to help small businesses as they increasingly offer online sales and services to weather the coronavirus recession.

representing Yvette clarkeYvette Diane ClarkeHouse Passes A Series Of Bills To Boost Cybersecurity Following The Haiti Caucus Attacks: Getting Out Of The Crisis Will Not Be Quick, But Necessary To Avoid False “Democracy” US Lawmakers Express Shock to the assassination of the Haitian president MORE (DN.Y.), co-chair of the Smart Caucus, stressed that governments at all levels must act quickly to help struggling businesses.

“All levels of government have a responsibility and obligation to foster a healthy environment for small business,” Clarke said at the “Ecommerce & the American Small Business” event hosted by The Hill.

“Our concern is that we need to support the economy that our country is teetering on right now, whether it’s high unemployment or the ability of customers to help support our small business sector by having the means to do it, ”she told The Hill’s Steve. Clemons.

Nearly 110,000 small businesses closed due to financial constraints related to coronaviruses between March and May, and the U.S. workforce has recovered less than the nearly 22 million jobs lost since the pandemic took hold .

The unemployment rate in August was 8.4%, down from the peak of 14.7% after the Depression in April, but more than double the rate of 3.5% before the imposition of coronavirus lockdowns on state and local levels.

To counter some of these losses, Congress passed legislation in the spring establishing the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided emergency loans to nearly 700,000 businesses between March and July.

But Rep. Adriano espaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralHouse at war over Jan.6 probe, NYC mask warrant snafu latest error from a broken election agency The Memo: Harris, Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Immigration Divide MORE (DN.Y.), a member of the House Small Business Committee, noted that many small businesses were not able to access loans immediately.

“It took additional funding and $ 60 billion to ensure that credit unions and local banks that have a long-standing working relationship with these companies can provide them with funding,” he said. at Monday’s eBay sponsored event.

“We may need to provide capital to places like restaurants and others that do business inside so that they have the capacity to build the systems that will keep their customers safe and restore their customers’ confidence and customers to come back inside. », Added Espaillat.

representing Kevin hernKevin Hern READ: Republicans who voted to challenge election results Leading GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell’s removal from intelligence committee Lawmakers call for help for small businesses at all levels of government MORE (R-Okla.), Another member of the Small Business Committee who attended Monday’s event, said Congress could do more if “politics” weren’t in the way.

“We shouldn’t be playing politics with jobs in America,” he said.

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