Cicilline, Pocan Lead Letter to Protect Small Businesses in Next House COVID-19 Package

Friday, March 20, 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Mark Pocan (WI-02) today sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, requesting direct and immediate financial assistance to small businesses, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and gig economy workers in the House’s next legislative package to combat the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.


“Small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our economy. We have an obligation to do everything we can to keep them afloat during this unprecedented crisis,” Congressman Cicilline said. “As Congress works to provide additional emergency funding in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s crucial that we take steps to provide direct assistance to small businesses.”


“We want to ensure that working people—from small businesses to gig workers and independent contractors—are able to survive now,” said Congressman Pocan. “As a small business owner myself, I have seen firsthand the effects of this outbreak on a business owner’s ability to afford expenses and pay employees. It is imperative that any further action the House takes includes direct relief for small businesses.”


The letter was also co-signed by: Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Suzanne Bonamici (OR), André Carson (IN) , Yvette D. Clarke  (NY), Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA), Lois Frankel (FL), Jahana Hayes (CT), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Mike Levin (CA), Alan Lowenthal (CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Ayanna Pressley (MA), Jamie Raskin (MD), Bobby L. Rush (IL), Darren Soto (FL), Susan Wild (PA).


See the full letter below and here.



Dear Speaker Pelosi,


Thank you for your leadership during this global pandemic.  As you develop a third legislative package in response to the coronavirus outbreak, we encourage you to include additional, immediate, and direct financial assistance to America’s millions of small businesses, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and gig economy workers.


The initial House-passed coronavirus measures included strong first steps to begin to ensure many workers are provided the resources they need to survive lost wages during this time.  Unfortunately, the tax credits offered to impacted employers are unlikely to address the revenue loss that will occur in the coming months.  Small business enterprises will struggle to pay rent, service existing debt, cover utilities, continue to pay insurance, and meet the myriad other expenses they face.


As Congress moves toward a third coronavirus legislative package, we encourage the inclusion of direct cash assistance to cover lost expenses during a time of forced closure or limited operations that is on a scale consistent with the cash assistance likely to be provided to workers soon.  We are pleased that policy discussions for the initial coronavirus packages focused on workers, but we fear that if small business concerns aren’t addressed in the near-term workers may not have jobs to return to when this pandemic ends.  We also believe that small business interests are just as deserving of assistance as large business interests, particularly when they are far more likely to have paid a larger relative share of their income in federal taxes.


We thank you for your consideration of these views and look forward to continuing to work with you on behalf of America’s workers, independent contractors, sole proprietors, gig economy workers, and small business community.





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