Louisiana Small Business Owners Advocate for Pandemic Relief

Portrait Of Small Business Man Owner With Face Mask
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NEW ORLEANS – Nearly 60 small business owners from across Louisiana have joined 2,000 of their peers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia in calling on Congress to pass additional federal pandemic relief to keep America’s “main streets” strong. The Virtual Hill Day effort is an initiative of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices, which gives Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses alumni from across the country a platform to advocate for policy changes that will help keep their businesses, employees, and communities vibrant by offering them the tools, resources and training needed to make their voices heard.

While small business owners expressed appreciation for the pandemic relief passed last month, they shared that the aid was a short-term fix for a long-term problem. The recently passed bill would allow some small businesses to limp into spring while wondering how they’ll survive until a vaccine has been widely distributed.

“Louisiana small businesses continue to struggle as the pandemic ravages Main Streets. For many small business owners, the pandemic upended our business models and forced us to making difficult decisions including reducing staff, shelving plans to grow, taking on debt to cover expenses and forgoing our own pay as we watch our revenue evaporate,” said Anna Tusa, owner of Briquette, Briquette Wine Room, and New Orleans Creole Cookery. “Our message to Congress as we participate in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices Virtual Hill Day is that while we appreciate the assistance passed last month, the state of small business is still dire and, without additional assistance, the American people and American workers will suffer further economic devastation.”

As part of the virtual advocacy day, the Louisiana small business owners held video meetings with Louisiana’s congressional delegation. Policies that Louisiana small business owners advocated for as they met with elected officials include:

  • Lowering health care costs for small businesses: These costs were already high before the pandemic, and small business owners continued to call for assistance allowing better coverage of both physical and mental health.
  • Protecting small businesses from potential COVID-related litigation: Already faced with financial challenges, the threat of frivolous lawsuits accusing small businesses of spreading COVID-19 would decimate Main Streets across America. A temporary liability shield would offer small businesses the assurance they need to invest in their business and employees.
  • Increasing access to affordable child care: Eighty-seven percent of small business owners surveyed indicated that affordable child care was critical to fostering a healthy and inclusive workforce.
  • Incentivizing large businesses to use more small businesses as vendors: According to a recent survey, less than half of small businesses generate revenue from contracts with corporations, with 88% reporting that difficulties identifying opportunities is a significant barrier to securing such work.
  • Simplifying government Request for Proposal (RFP) process for small businesses: While one in three small business owners surveyed indicated they have generated revenue from business through state, local and federal government contracts, over half surveyed indicated they wanted to learn more about the government RFP process.
  • Offsetting re-opening costs: To meet local and state requirements, and to protect their customers’ health and safety, small businesses have invested significantly in materials and supplies to reopen. 86% of small business owners say tax incentives to offset these costs incurred would help ease their financial pain.

To read the full Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices Small Business Agenda, click here.

Categories: Activism, COVID-19, Politics, Today’s Business News