Congresswoman Robin Kelly, small business owners discuss COVID-19 impacts via conference call

information provided by the Office of Robin Kelly

MATTESON, Ill. (March 23, 2020) – Congresswoman Robin Kelly hosted a conference call with local small business owners and chamber of commerce representatives, the first in her series discussing the economic and community impacts of the coronavirus.

“The purpose of the call was to hear firsthand what my local small business owners and independent contractors need from Congress,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “I plan to pass on their concerns and ideas to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We are doing everything we possibly can to make sure businesses not only survive, but thrive once we get past the virus.”

The conference call included discussion of the immediate impacts and ways to maintain operations while limiting person-to-person contact. Further, participants discussed what aid, support, and resources are already available as a result of the two emergency aid packages passed by the House of Representative, and if the delivery of those resources is adaptable, prompt, and effective.

Questions included the following:

  • There is no infrastructure in place to assist small businesses in obtaining the aid that will be available as a result of the two stimulus bills recently passed by Congress. Could Congress appropriate funds to chambers since they serve as “lifelines of support” for small businesses? Currently, most chambers do not have the staff or funding to assist in such a major undertaking.
  • Can Congress specifically address the unique needs and concerns of independent contractors in the third federal stimulus package?
  • Can Congress implement more instantaneous relief efforts to help small businesses? Long-term relief such as tax credits will not help businesses in the short run. The group also discussed what additional steps are necessary to support families, local businesses, and communities.

Congresswoman Kelly is a member of the Steering and Policy Committee, which sets the policy direction of the Democratic Caucus. She pledged to work toward incorporating these ideas into forthcoming legislation.

The March 23 call was the first in a series hosted by Congresswoman Kelly. Upcoming calls will include members of the hospitality industry, non-profit leaders, manufacturers, and local elected leaders.

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