WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06) introduced the Restore America’s Main Street Act. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an enormous strain on small businesses, leaving many vulnerable to a permanent shutdown. The smallest businesses, with 50 employees or fewer, especially struggled to access the Payment Protection Program (PPP).
“I speak with small businesses in Montgomery and Berks counties on a daily basis. Most of these folks have found it near impossible to access PPP and many are running out of time,” Rep. Dean said. “Getting relief to the smallest of businesses is of the utmost importance right now – and I am relieved that we have introduced the Restore America’s Main Street Act to assist the smallest businesses through direct cash assistance.”
The Restore America’s Main Street Act targets the smallest of businesses and provides direct relief through cash payments through a first-ever small business rebate check.
“Employers on Main Streets across our region – and all over America – are hurting as we work to contain the spread of the coronavirus. While new programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans are providing significant assistance to millions of small businesses, many others are struggling to gain access,” Rep. Kilmer said. “This rebate will help our nation’s smallest small businesses to retain employees, pay critical bills, and keep the lights on.”
The Restore America’s Main Street Act provides unrestricted direct cash support to small businesses. The support comes in the form of a check equal to 30% of the gross receipts reported in the previous year (up to $120,000).
Businesses eligible for cash support include those with:
$1.5 million or less in gross receipts
50 or fewer employees
Self-employed and charitable organizations are also eligible for the rebate.
"SEED SPOT is excited to endorse this bill as it helps ensure a level playing field for small businesses that are struggling as a result of COVID-19. With access to capital, disbursed in an equitable way, together we can overcome these dark hours for small businesses," C'pher Gresham, CEO of SEED SPOT, said.
Many small businesses have missed out on previous grant and loan programs, including creative entrepreneurs involved in e-commerce.
"Etsy strongly supports the Restore America's Main Street Act, which would provide much needed support to our community of creative entrepreneurs, the vast majority of whom are women-owned businesses of one. Unfortunately, as self-employed microbusinesses, many of our sellers have been unable to access the relief programs provided by the CARES Act, including PPP and EIDL loans, as well as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The Restore America's Main Street Act would fill that gap and provide our most vulnerable entrepreneurs the support they need to weather this unprecedented crisis." Althea Erickson, VP Global Policy & Impact, Etsy, Inc., said.
Rep. Dean will be working to ensure the Restore America's Main Street Act is included in the next COVID-19 relief package to help save our businesses and their workers.
Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.