Small Business Crisis 5.0
December 1, 2020 | View PDF
With so much news to absorb in recent months, it has been easy to overlook the continuing small business crisis in our state. While we have been preoccupied by the mounting Coronavirus cases and deaths, soaring unemployment, unprecedented political turmoil, thousands of Alabama small businesses have been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. This is not their fault. They were ordered to close their doors. These businesses employ more than half of all Alabamians and are major drivers of our economy. The stock market may be soaring near all-time highs, but this does not reflect the suffering that remains on main street. Most of us are back at work, but things are not normal. Not even close. Millions of dollars were lent to Alabama businesses through the Payroll Protective Program. However, it ended months ago, and it was nowhere near enough. According to the Wall Street Journal, nationwide 300 companies who received 500 million in PPP loans have filed for bankruptcy.
Even after reopening, Retail, Restaurants and other service businesses still operate under severe restrictions as the virus continues to spread. Many Alabama small businesses–many family-owned and operated for generations–have closed never to reopen. The pandemic has lasted longer than most all projections resulting in dire circumstances for most small businesses. In Alabama, the Food Service Industry is taking a devastating hit according to statistics provided by Mindy Hannon, Executive Director of the Alabama Hospitality Association. The Industry employs 211,800 Alabamians representing 10% of all employment in the state with annual sales of $9.8 billion. In April alone, the Industry lost a staggering $585 million in sales that they will never recover. 76% of food service operators have made layoffs or furlough representing 114,000 neighbors who work in this industry. 69% of all Restaurant operators say that it is unlikely that they will be profitable in six months. Worst of all, an almost unbelievable 68% say that it is unlikely that they will still be in business in 6 months without an additional relief package. I am the last person, who in normal times, would be calling for Government stimulus packages, but these are extraordinary times. Our leaders in Washington must immediately come together and pass a responsible targeted bill to help our small businesses.
While we wait on Washington to help our Alabama businesses, it is time for all of us to be good neighbors and do our part. We must go out of our way to support our locally owned small businesses. When possible, forgo ordering online and mask up and visit a local business. Instead of the drive thru at a fast-food chain, pick up or have delivered food from a local restaurant.
The governors of many states are making moves towards another lockdown which would be devastating to their small businesses, overall economy, and the wellbeing of their citizens. I commend Governor Kay Ivey for her support of small businesses. She has announced her support of the Keep Alabama Open Initiative led by CEO and President of the Business Council of Alabama Katie Britt The campaign also has the support of several entities, such as the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, National Federation of Independent Business, Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association, and Alabama Retail Association. Governor Ivey has also released $200 million in additional funding for Alabama small businesses. Revive Alabama will give Alabama businesses that have less than 50 employees up to $20,000 in grants for expenses they have incurred because of the pandemic.
As Governor Ivey has stated many times: ”You cannot have a life without a livelihood.” We are all in this together, and we can survive this crisis by working together.
Republicans Must Maintain Control of the Senate
It is imperative that everyone supports the two Republican Georgia Senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, in their bid for re-election. The control of the Senate hangs in the balance. Republicans currently hold a 50–48 lead. However, if the Democrats sweep these races in the January 3rd runoffs and Joe Biden is the President, Kamala Harris represents the tie breaker on all votes that are tied 50 – 50 in the Senate. The Democrats nationwide are pulling out all stops to win these elections with two radical left-wing candidates. “We are the firewall, not just for the U.S. Senate, but the future of our country,” Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler recently stated.
The radical Democrats will have at least two unfettered years for their reign of terror if Joe Biden is certified and Republicans lose the Senate. This unchecked socialism will do lasting damage to our great country that will be near impossible to fix. Court packing, the elimination of President Trump’s corporate tax cuts, the Green New Deal, Statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington DC, the elimination of the Electoral College, defunding the military and a host of other radical, socialist programs could become a reality. To start, they are going to cancel over $1.6 billion in student loans as if there is a Money Fairy that can just make it all disappear without transferring those costs onto the backs of hardworking Americans.
The liberal governors and mayors who have destroyed their local economies with lock-downs and years of mismanagement want to force taxpayers in other states to pay their bills with a multi-trillion-dollar federal bailout. New York alone is insisting on $30 billion. The Democrats insist on tying bailout money to any additional COVID relief packages that help American workers and small businesses that are struggling mightily through no fault of their own.
In Georgia, Democrats say they are laser-focused on registering voters and pushing them to vote early or absentee. Nse Ufot, who leads the New Georgia Project, a group focused on voter registration, told POLITICO earlier this month that they identified upwards of 100,000 potential voters to register ahead of the December 7 runoff deadline. Ossoff’s campaign estimated more than 20,000 potential new voters became eligible after November 3rd.
The Democrats are relying on a cadre of groups, from those like The New Georgia Project and Fair Fight, founded by 2018 failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, to help on the ground. Abrams has claimed that 750,000 Georgians have requested absentee ballots through her efforts. Abrams, by the way, has not yet conceded the fact she lost the Gubernatorial race in 2018.
The Republican Party has conceded that they will not have money that Democrats will have from billionaire hedge funds managers and Silicon Valley Tech Oligarchs. However, money alone does not win elections. The radical left tried this tactic in trying to unseat Senate Majority Lead Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham. They outspent both Senators by tens of millions of dollars trying to elect two candidates with socialist policies proving they cannot win on money alone. In Georgia, even more radical candidates are trying to unseat Senators Loeffler and Purdue.
The Democrats think they can buy Georgia so they can implement their agenda to fundamentally change America forever. We must do all we can to support the Republican ground game in Georgia. This effort will enable Republicans to verify all signatures on all ballots. Call all your friends and family in Georgia and do not hang up until you have convinced them of the importance of this election. If possible, travel to Georgia and go door to door. Contact your local Republican party and volunteer to make calls on behalf of Senators Loeffler and Perdue. You can do this on your cell phone from the comfort of your own home. We must win or all is lost.