February 24, 2022

Warren, Markey Call for Robust COVID-19 Small Business Relief in Budget Package

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R-Ky.), calling on Senate leadership to include a “robust” small business relief package in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 spending package. Massachusetts is home to more than 715,000 small businesses that employ 1.5 million people. These small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and need additional relief to overcome the economic impacts of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

“While we are grateful for the historic investment in our nation’s small businesses by the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act, the need for aid has been far greater than the funding provided by Congress,” wrote Senators Warren and Markey. “The COVID-19 pandemic has not ended and neither should the relief for small businesses. Investments like these will help small businesses protect their workers, pay rent, pay the bills, cover their loans, and ensure that they can survive this ‘new normal’.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act provided vital funding for small businesses through the creation and funding of critical programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program, the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). These programs have provided hundreds of billions of dollars in relief to businesses across the country. However, these programs were quickly depleted and countless small businesses were left without any aid.

The Senators highlighted the hardest hit sectors in Massachusetts, including restaurants, hotels, travel, gyms, and live entertainment, and urged Senate leadership to pass a robust relief package to help these small businesses stay afloat.

Senator Warren has fought for far-reaching economic relief to invest in the economy’s recovery from COVID-19. 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.