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Immediate Release: December 8th, 2020
Contact: Amaad Rivera-Wagner
Mayor Eric Genrich, Laurie Radke, and County Executive Troy Streckenbach ask Congress for a bi-partisan economic relief for small businesses
(Green Bay, WI) – Mayor Eric Genrich, CEO Laurie Radke of the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, and County Executive Troy Streckenbach sent a letter to Congress today, outlining the immediate need for additional financial support for small businesses in Green Bay.
“The pandemic and the associated recession continue to have an extremely negative impact on our small businesses, their employees, and our community’s economy. With limited local resources, but tremendous local and national needs, we are calling on Congress to help ensure our small businesses can survive this pandemic and rebound successfully in 2021.” said Mayor Genrich.
Text of the letter below:
RE: COVID Relief for Small Business and Economic Downturn
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer and Leader McCarthy,
We write to implore you to reach a bipartisan agreement on legislation to address the severe economic harm that is occurring to small businesses and the communities we serve. Additional federal support is imperative for furloughed or unemployed employees, small businesses, educational institutions, Chambers of Commerce and Conventions and Visitors Bureaus, first responders, and the state and local governments that are addressing the ongoing public health and economic crises related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Greater Green Bay Chamber and the City of a Green Bay represent together the strong and important partnerships that exist throughout our country and those that are in need of the support of federal resources as we continue to serve our citizens and business members during this difficult time. We come together as the public and private sectors to respectfully urge both Democrats and Republicans to united and pass additional COVID economic relief legislation that targets those business and government entities and individuals who are on the frontlines in responding to and suffering from the pandemic.
In Greater Green Bay, just the Packers season being held without fans alone has resulted in a $150 million loss of economic activity. Many of the local restaurants, hotels, and other small businesses that customarily benefit from and rely upon this economic activity are struggling to avoid collapse. Additionally, a recent survey indicated that just in October alone, local businesses have lost 1.4 million in income and over 1,900 jobs in Northeast Wisconsin. Businesses connected to the hospitality and tourism industries have been hit the hardest by this pandemic, resulting in lost hours and wages for our citizens and reduced revenue for local governments. As the largest industry in Brown County, tourism employs over 28,000 employees, which amounts to nearly one out of every five jobs in the county. The unemployment rate, while it has lowered and is still below the national average thanks to our manufacturing base, is still nearly double 2019’s annualized average. As the pandemic has worsened in recent months in Greater Green Bay, our small businesses, which are the cornerstones of our economy, have suffered greatly, and we are ill-equipped to offer them the assistance they need without your help.
Our employees, businesses, and citizens cannot afford to wait any longer for additional federal relief. If Congress fails to act, millions of employees will be furloughed or terminated; millions of unemployed Americans will lose their unemployment insurance pandemic benefits; hundreds of thousands of companies will be at risk of closing their doors forever; and the vast majority of state and local governments will have to curtail critical services and/or increase taxes in order to balance budgets due to declines in economic activity and associated revenue.
Congress needs to rise to the occasion and cast partisanship aside, as it did earlier this year, to provide a lifeline to citizens and businesses. Congress’ failure to act now will result in negative economic and social ramifications that will reverberate for decades. This is a pivotal moment, and we trust that you will not let it pass you by.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this most critical issue.
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Green Bay Chamber
City of Green Bay