Advocacy Alert: Main Street in COVID-19 Relief
March 24, 2020 | 3:40 pm
from Washington Trust
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) recently introduced the Main Street Emergency Grant Program (MSEGP) to rescue small and mid-size businesses and nonprofits as they weather the coronavirus storm. This proposed bill would serve as a lifeline to small businesses in Washington’s 61 Main Street communities, supporting them through drops in revenue and mandatory closures.
Contact your members of Congress and encourage them to help save the small businesses that make up the backbone of our local economies and communities. See below for sample text to use as a starting point, as well as contact information for Washington State Senators and Representatives.
Dear [Legislator Name],
I’m writing to ask you to include support for our Main Street communities in any coronavirus (COVID-19) economic relief legislation.
Small businesses play a critical role in supporting our communities and shared culture, serving as the backbone for our economy. The National Main Street program has led the way in revitalizing historic downtowns through a proven economic-based approach. Now, Main Street programs are mobilizing to support their communities but, with mandatory closures of non-essential businesses across Washington, the small businesses that drive our local and state economy are imperiled.
A proposal creating a Main Street Emergency Grant Program has recently been introduced in the Senate. Measures to support the critical businesses that comprise the heart of our communities include:
- Providing $600 billion in direct appropriations along with additional money to facilitate program readiness.
- Enabling small businesses, including self-employed individuals and nonprofits, to rapidly apply for grants through the Treasury Department to cover fixed costs, including payroll.
- Determining grant amounts based on a percentage of expenses necessary for the survival of the business.
- Offering forgivable loans to midsize businesses who are experiencing similar losses. These loans would be forgivable if businesses restore their payrolls to 80% within 12 months of the termination of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
We urge you to support the Main Street Emergency Grant Program as it makes it way through the Senate. We look to you for your leadership in this time of crisis and thank you for your support.
We urge you to consider a House version of the Main Street Emergency Grant Program as a companion to the Senate proposal. We look to you for your leadership in this time of crisis and thank you for your support.
[Your Name Here]
Contact Information for Members of Congress
Senator Maria Cantwell: email or call (202) 224-3441
Senator Patty Murray: email or call (202) 224-2621
Representative Suzan DelBene, 1st District: email or call (202) 225-6311
Representative Rick Larsen, 2nd: email or call (202) 225-2605
Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler, 3rd: email or call (202) 225-3536
Representative Dan Newhouse, 4th: email or call (202) 225-5816
Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, 5th: email or call (202) 225-2006
Representative Derek Kilmer, 6th: email or call (202) 225-5916
Representative Pramila Jayapal, 7th: email or call (202) 225-3106
Representative Kim Schrier, 8th: email or call (202) 225-7761
Representative Adam Smith, 9th: email or call (202) 225-8901
Representative Denny Heck, 10th: email or call (202) 225-9740
Not sure who your Representative is? Search your address here to find out.