A group of 76 United States mayors has endorsed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in an open letter that also calls out President Donald Trump and members of Congress for delaying vital Covid-19 relief for small businesses as the pandemic continues to wreak a harsh economic toll on the lives of average Americans.
“We are gravely concerned that leaders at the federal level do not understand the scope and scale of the challenges our communities are facing, and especially the tremendous burdens their inaction is placing on America’s small businesses,” the mayors write. “As mayors from communities all across America, we are asking the White House and Senate to restart negotiations, to deliver the help that our communities and our mom and pop businesses need to weather this storm.”
Addressing the president, they say that “America’s small businesses are facing an existential crisis because of Donald Trump’s mismanagement of COVID-19.”
“Since the start of this pandemic, more than 400,000 U.S. small businesses have closed their doors. More than half of all small businesses say it will take more than six months to return to normal. Many will never fully recover, and more than a few have closed their doors for the last time,” they note. “Since January, President Trump has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of COVID-19, undermined America’s top scientists and public health professionals, removed or contradicted guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for safe reopening of schools, businesses and local economies, and refused to accept any of the responsibility that comes with leadership.”
The mayors say they support measures endorsed by Biden and Harris to overhaul the Paycheck Protection Program “to guarantee that every businesses with fewer than 50 employees can get relief, that small businesses — especially minority-owned businesses — can get needed funding quickly and easily, that support take the form of flexible grants — not loans — for true small businesses that have lost substantial revenue; and ensure the fraud and self-enrichment of big business that has taken place on Trump’s watch cannot continue.”
The letter’s signatories include Mayors Kate Gallego (Phoenix, Arizona), Michael Hancock (Denver, Colorado), Martin J. Walsh (Boston, Massachusetts), and Erin Mendenhall (Salt Lake City, Utah).