LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate has approved Sen. Michael D. MacDonald’s resolution urging the U.S. Congress to explore further avenues of relief for businesses affected by COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically affected our state and country, especially small businesses and restaurants who were forced to shut down in March and still have yet to fully reopen,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “To fight the spread of the virus, Gov. Whitmer closed all Michigan schools and nonessential businesses. While many businesses have been able to reopen, some are still closed and most are extremely limited in their operations. They are worried about how long they can survive, and the federal assistance is simply not enough.”
Senate Resolution 130 says that with the forced closures, small business owners have been forced to lay off workers and forgo income for months, while still needing to make payments for utilities, mortgages and rent, and other expenses.
According to a Michigan survey, one in seven, or about 14%, of small businesses are not confident that they will survive the pandemic. Nationally, a survey found that 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of shutting down.
“The economic uncertainty and devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related mitigation policies are not the fault of small business owners, and it’s irresponsible to fail to help them during this extraordinary time,” MacDonald said. “The small business relief enacted by Congress is not sufficient. The federal Paycheck Protection Program has been unable to provide relief to millions of small businesses affected by the crisis, including many in Macomb County.
“These businesses, their workers, our state and the entire nation need Congress to act to preserve the backbone of our economy and the livelihoods of millions of people.”
SR 130 also says that the failure of these businesses could have wide ranging negative effects for Michigan and the United States. Since the beginning of the crisis, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment, including more than 1.7 million in Michigan. If small businesses are unable to reopen, many of these claimants may not be able to return to work, magnifying the already devastating economic impact of COVID-19.