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Michigan Small Business Owners Advocate on Capitol Hill Calling for Long-Term Small Business Pandemic Relief

Nearly 100 small business owners from across Michigan participate in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices effort to advocate for policies that aid Main Street businesses 

DETROIT – (January 13, 2021) – Nearly 100 small business owners from across Michigan today 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 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.

“Small businesses across Michigan 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 Sanya Weston, owner of Your Premier Travel Service in Novi, Michigan. “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, Michigan small business owners held video meetings with the offices of Michigan’s congressional delegation, including Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.

Small businesses play a crucial role in building and strengthening local and regional economies across our nation. America’s more than 30 million small businesses employ nearly half of the private sector workforce. In Michigan, there are more than 870,301 small businesses, which comprises 99.6% of the state’s businesses and employs 49.2% of Michigan employees. Policies that Michigan 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: 87% 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, please click here.

To learn more about Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in Michigan, or to apply for the program, please visit https://www.10ksbapply.com/.