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The Chamber's Federal Advocacy for More Small Business COVID Relief

The Chamber's Federal Advocacy for More Small Business COVID Relief

*The Chamber sent the email below to liaisons for our U.S. Congressional delegation re: a possible second round of federal small business relief (PPP).

Dear Senators and Representative,

The following are important and timely insights from the local business community in Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro re: 2nd round of PPP: 
  1. We spoke directly with 50+ small, local businesses in our community about their needs and they all agreed that a second round of PPP is urgently needed. With some businesses still closed by executive orders and others with sales down 75-90%, additional resources are needed for them to survive and continue to pay their staffs and bills.
  2. We see that the Republicans’ relief package requires businesses show 35% gross revenue reduction, but we recommend that be ~25% (instead of 35%) if possible.  Many businesses are hustling and working harder than ever to get closer to breaking even. We think they shouldn’t be penalized for their hard work with limits on access to capital.
  3. We see that the proposed bill has “reduction compared to last year” language. We think that is good language, but please be aware that that would exclude legit start-ups like Epilogue or Thai Station, whose owners used life savings to launch right before covid hit and they won’t have previous year comparisons. Perhaps language could be added for businesses in operation less than 12 months that have rent or mortgage obligations that they may submit a consecutive 90 day-comparison.
  4. We would be remiss to not state the obvious: to the extent the relief could be in grants rather than loans is most desirable. It looks like we have a long runway back to any normalcy and some of our businesses are already debating if the risk of taking on more debt and obligations is worth it vs. closing for good. We recently hosted a restructuring /debt management discussion as business owners are quietly asking questions about when they should call it quits. Many are sophisticated small business owners running highly regarded businesses. We estimate dozens and dozens of closures through town if this is not resolved soon.
Thank you for your hard work and please know that another relief package is urgent and important. 
Katie Loovis
Vice President for External Affairs
The Chamber & Carrboro Business Alliance
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