May 19, 2022

Warren, Markey Blast Republicans for Vote Against COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement today after the Senate failed to pass the bipartisan Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022, legislation that would have provided much-needed funding to small businesses by allocating grants to hard-hit businesses, including gyms and live event production businesses, and by replenishing the Restaurant Revitalizations Fund, which has supported thousands of restaurants across Massachusetts and across the country. Massachusetts is home to over more than 715,000 small businesses that help make the Commonwealth’s economy run.

“Small businesses have fought to keep their doors open, their communities afloat, and their workers on payroll throughout the darkest days of the pandemic, and today Washington has failed them,” said Senators Warren and Markey. “Despite widespread support and a clear need for these funds, Republicans chose to block the Small Business COVID Relief Act. Last year, the American Rescue Plan extended a critical lifeline for countless Massachusetts businesses – from the hospitality to the fitness industry and beyond – but when the federal funding ran out, some small businesses were locked out, especially minority- and women-owned small businesses. It is clear that the COVID crisis exacerbated inequalities in our economy and society. It is our job to help small businesses stay afloat through tough times so that they can protect their workers, pay their bills, cover their loans, and sustain our local economies. We cannot continue to turn our backs on the communities that have shouldered the burden of this pandemic. We are incredibly disappointed in our colleagues for failing to recognize their duty to American workers and small business entrepreneurs, but we remain committed to fighting to support small businesses and pass a robust relief package.”

As COVID-19 has continued to impact small businesses across Massachusetts and the country, Senator Warren has fought to deliver relief to small business owners:

  • In February 2022, Senators Warren and Markey sent a letter to Senate Leadership, urging them to pass additional relief for small businesses.  
  • In January 2022, Senator Warren hosted a restaurant roundtable in Massachusetts, highlighting the need to fight for additional relief for restaurants and other businesses struggling after the impacts of the Omicron variant. 
  • In March 2021, Senator Warren highlighted the key legislative victories she and her colleagues won in the historic $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which provided about $8.1 billion in relief for Massachusetts.