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Reps. Clarke, Jeffries & Velázquez Educate Local Businesses and Nonprofits on Federal Pandemic Funding Opportunities

VIRTUAL, USA –  As small businesses and nonprofits throughout Brooklyn and across America are struggling to keep afloat, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) hosted a virtual town hall tonight that provided resources and guidance during COVID-19 to these organizations. Clarke was joined by Small Business Chairwoman Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), plus additional local experts. 

Clarke said: “I am in this fight to ensure our small businesses and nonprofits within our Central and South Brooklyn community maintain their livelihoods. Small businesses are the backbone of our community and need our help in Washington now more than ever  so their doors aren’t shuttered because of coronavirus. It was important for me to host this town hall to help share information with small businesses and nonprofits about how they can weather this very challenging and scary economic storm.”

The Representatives offered information from the CARES Act, which was enacted in late March, touched on the House-passed HEROES Act, discussing why it is important for the Senate to ensure this is passed into law and provided what possible stimulus funding could be coming for small businesses. 

Velázquez said: “Small businesses are anchors in New York’s neighborhoods. Right now, they are struggling with unprecedented challenges and making gut-wrenching decisions as they attempt to keep their doors open and employees on payroll. It’s important they know where to turn for federal assistance and this forum provided a valuable discussion on the Paycheck Protection Program and other available initiatives. Going forward, we will work to further improve these programs and ensure more small businesses receive the emergency capital they need.”

Congress originally designed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other loan programs to provide critical money to employers, so that businesses can keep workers on payroll and survive this crisis. These federal programs were discussed during the town hall.

Jeffries said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged America, shuttering small businesses and leaving millions of Americans without employment. Small businesses and nonprofits are the backbone of our communities, and we must provide the support necessary to get them through this dark hour. Last week, the House passed the Heroes Act to provide much-needed relief to the American people, including an essential expansion of the PPP. The Senate must act now and pass the Heroes Act.”

Other experts in the virtual town hall included New York State Assemblyman Robert Carroll; New York City Councilman Brad Lander; Robert Piechota, Small Business Administration Long Island Branch Manager; and Daniel Gonzalez, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union Director. These experts provided local resources and insights for the small businesses and nonprofit professionals in attendance.