RICHMOND, VA — It’s been a lifetime since the United States has seen an economic downturn as sharp as the one we’re currently experiencing. And like the Great Depression, incompetence in the White House has made a bad situation even worse.
Trump’s failed implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has left millions of small businesses still waiting for a desperately needed lifeline. Most small businesses haven’t accessed these loans at all. His rollout favored big banks and large companies with multi-millionaire executives and months of cash-on-hand, but completely failed to meet the needs of some of our hardest hit businesses, often minority and women-owned. And companies that could afford to spend millions lobbying his administration got preferential treatment.
His botched rollout saw major glitching and constant rule-changing to introduce last minute loopholes to favor large companies, frustrating small business owners and resulting in only about 7 percent of small businesses receiving their funds by the end of April, leaving them in danger of shutting down permanently. Meanwhile, large corporations have raked in more than a billion dollars in funds that were meant for small businesses.
As Virginia businesses prepare to reopen soon, they’ll still need federal assistance. But a recent report from the Congressional Oversight Commission revealed that the Federal Reserve has yet to launch the Main Street Lending Program meant to aid small businesses, and recently changed the rules to let big corporations take some of the money set aside for small businesses.
It is no surprise that a man known for pushing racist and sexist rhetoric on the campaign trail translated that hostility into action during his administration. And it is noteworthy that the Trump administration failed to instruct lenders to prioritize underserved communities, as called for under law. One survey found that fewer than 1 in 5 latino business owners got any relief in the first round.
To hear more from the Biden campaign about their plans to help small businesses and see a Virginia-specific approach, tune into his Latino Small Business roundtable Friday, May 22 at 5:30 PM ET. Press should RSVP here no later than two hours before the event, and members of the public should RSVP here.
“Making sure small businesses can maintain the economic and cultural roles they play in their communities is vital to the success of this recovery,” said DPVA Press Secretary Carson Brown. “Virginia’s small businesses deserve a federal government that will step up to the plate when they need help. Instead, they’ve been stuck with a corrupt, inadequate response from the Trump administration, whose only interest is reinforcing racist and sexist systems and protecting the wealth of his cronies.”