It may feel as though life just four weeks ago is more like a childhood memory, than the recent past. To suggest this moment in history is unprecedented is not an exaggeration. To put things in context, the $3 trillion the Federal government allocated over the last several days is 18 times greater than what was spent in 2008 under the Recovery Act, the Federal bailout of the economy after the collapse of the financial markets.
The economy is at a virtual standstill; yet, the bills come every day, which means small, local business leaders are under tremendous pressure. This reality has not gone unnoticed: Our leadership in Washington, and here in Michigan, recognize the backbone of the American economy is made-up of small, locally owned businesses. This is the reason they passed and are enacting the CARES Act.
The trouble, of course, is that small, local business leaders don’t have staffs of legal experts and consultants to help navigate the labyrinth of jargon, stipulations and requirements that must be understood and met before receiving the relief to which they’re entitled.
Fortunately, there are folks who care and recognize the future of sustainable business rests with those in our community who get-up every day and run our small, local businesses.
The SMSBF, with its partners in the Michigan Sustainable Business Initiative and the American Sustainable Business Council have compiled the sorts of resources that can help. What follows is a brief overview of these materials.
“The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act” This document contains “information about major programs and initiatives” being administered through the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is an independent Federal Agency. It also covers additional tax provisions that fall outside the scope of the SBA.
“Resource Guide for Business in the Time of COVID-19” This document comes from the office of Rep. Haley Stevens and contains a number of useful links, recommendations and advice for small business owners. It’s also centered on Michigan and includes some of the best advice for navigating these issues: contact your Congressional Representative.
Beyond navigating the intricacies of obtaining CARES Act funds lies the need for continued action and advocacy.
We must continue to work together to advance progressive business policy in Lansing and Washington. This pandemic will end someday, and when it does, we need to ensure the work of creating equity, inclusion and resilience in our economy doesn’t stop. The key to ensuring a vibrant, healthy democracy hinges on the small, local business leaders who create the majority of jobs and economic activity in America. There’s need for constant vigilance. This means we must do the work necessary to encourage the growth and vitality of our local, small business community.
Please join SMSBF in recognizing the work of Governor Whitmer and her staff for all they’ve done to build resiliency in Michigan’s economy and our community during this crisis. Click here to read and sign an open letter to Governor Whitmer indicating your support for her work. Her early actions increased accessibility for unemployment benefits and emergency resources for Michigan businesses.
Please also join SMSBF in its support of the work being done by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC). The American Sustainable Business Council and American Independent Business Alliance are calling for more legislative action. As we make our way through this crisis, we must work to develop and advance a rich, diverse, local and inclusive business economy. Click here to see the ASBC Five Point Plan and join in the advocacy for small, local businesses.