Today, Democratic leaders and Georgia small business owners held a press conference to highlight how the Trump administration’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt our economy, and made this crisis even worse for small business owners across Georgia and our country.
Trump, who is currently polling below Vice President Joe Biden in Georgia, has failed on every level in responding to the coronavirus crisis, as now 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment, 27 million have lost their health coverage, and over 90,000 Americans have died. Trump’s failed implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program left millions of small businesses waiting for desperately needed federal aid, while wealthy corporations were able to get over $1 billion in funds meant for small business relief.
“Donald Trump and Georgia Republicans have made a bad situation worse for small businesses across Georgia and our country, by fumbling the response to COVID-19’s economic impact, and putting the wealthy and well-connected over the small businesses that are at the center of our communities,” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams. “Georgia Democrats know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy – and we know that there is no economic recovery without real help for small businesses. But Donald Trump and Republicans have left small businesses high and dry.”
“The delay and hesitation from the Trump administration on COVID-19 has cost us, both in lives and in making our economic depression even worse,” said Representative Gregg Kennard, executive director of a small business nonprofit. “Clearly, this is a tough situation, but Washington politics have made it even harder for small businesses to get relief.”
“Small businesses create jobs, they put more dollars back into local economies, and they bring life to our communities — but this administration’s failed implementation of small business relief is putting those jobs in jeopardy,” said Representative Mary Robichaux, member of the Georgia House Small Business Development Committee. “Instead of helping underserved communities who need their small businesses the most, lenders let funds go to the wealthy and well connected. This crisis isn’t over – and our small businesses need real, lasting help to make it through.”
“When PPP application portals were launched by big banks, the glitchy online system kept going offline. This forced small business owners to wait to apply for relief, while those same banks assigned big corporations personal bankers to assist them in manually moving to the front of the line,” said Long Tran, owner of Peachy Corners Cafe. “This was not fair to small businesses that needed assistance then, not weeks later in the 2nd round. Small businesses today continue to struggle as rules for applying and forgiveness keeps changing.
“The president promised that this program would be easy for small business owners, but this rollout was anything but easy, especially for minority and women small business owners who were largely shut out of the first round of PPP funding,” said Crystal Crawford, owner of Elite Metro Nannies in Atlanta. “It shouldn’t have been this hard or taken this long for small businesses to get help. I don’t have connections with a big corporate bank, and I’m not friends with people in the Trump administration, but I still need my government to look out for everyday Georgians like me and my community.”