Commentary By Blane F. Stoddard
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Nov. 20, 2020: While elected leaders led by the current president exhibit childish behavior, many small business owners and entrepreneurs are uncertain if they will survive this pandemic.
Small businesses account for 90% of new jobs in the United States. A recent survey by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Newark Economic Development Corp, and The Philadelphia Business Journal reveal that:
52% of small business owners can no longer pay themselves or take a draw
61% of Black business owners are working without pay
42% of small businesses have laid off workers or reduced staff salaries or pay
33% of small business owners are living off their savings
In Philadelphia. PA 53% of Black businesses will not survive
In Philadelphia, PA 33% of restaurants have permanently closed
In Newark, NJ, 69% of small businesses may close.
The numbers are both staggering and sobering. While main street bleeds without any recourse in the near term, Wall Street is at an all-time high. The chasm between stockholders and workers, the rich and poor widens as the wealthy who can do business on-line or from anywhere remotely, remain unaffected by the pandemic. These are indeed unprecedented times.
The need for a 2nd COVID-Stimulus bill in the United States is palpable and makes common sense. It would spare a lifeline for small businesses, and help to save the tourism, travel and hospitality industries until a vaccine can be widely distributed. Families that are living off the local food bank, could spend their $1200 stimulus checks and help temporarily prop the economy until employers can safely rehire. This is not a Democratic nor Republican issue.
This is an American economic survival issue. Some of our leaders have become so ideologically weaponized that decency, common sense, and facts have lost all meaning. Basic facts and truth are now viewed through the lens of ideology.
Ideology, rather than service to the American people, has now become the vehicle that drives all negotiations and decision making in Washington D.C. Some of these same leaders no longer read legislation presented before voting. This herd mentality is not good for our democracy and is no good for business. The business community should demand that our leaders compromise and work together to deliver programs and legislation that promote job creation and saves lives through the remainder this pandemic.
Editor’s Note: Blane F. Stoddart is a Small Business Advocate, Chair, Economic Development Committee in Pennsylvania of the Governor’s Commission on African American Affairs; Economic Advisor, E-Consult and President and CEO, BFW Construction Project Managers.