(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), and Jackie Speier (CA-14) and 30 Members of Congress in urging leaders in the House and Senate to consider providing grants and direct cash in addition to loans to small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. They also urged them to include specific protections for minority-owned small businesses.

“Small businesses, many minority-owned, play a crucial role in the identity of the Chicagoland area, especially in the district I represent,” said Rep. Chuy García. “If our goal is to get small businesses back on their feet, the government must provide grants rather than just loans, which could force businesses into decades of debt. That’s why I’m urging House and Senate leadership to ensure that all small businesses, including minority-owned small businesses, have the assistance they need to recover.”

"Small businesses are job creators in our communities, but often lack the resources to endure trying times like these. This is an unfortunate reality for many minority-owned businesses. It is critical that the federal government uses a range of tools to help small businesses including grants, and targets their resources to ensure that minority owned businesses are supported and not overlooked,” said Rep. Gwen Moore.

“While Congress is working on passing a third coronavirus response bill, we need to ensure that the stimulus package directly addresses the needs of our small businesses, especially our minority-owned small businesses. They’ve been making countless sacrifices, taking on debt, and meeting every challenge head on during our public health crisis,” said Rep. Gil Cisneros. “It's been especially hard for our AAPI small businesses owners in the 39th District, who have been suffering through stigma, fear, and paranoia over the virus. I join my House colleagues in strongly urging for a grant program in the stimulus package to help all of our small businesses recover. We cannot leave them behind.”

“I’ve heard from countless small business owners who are struggling to afford sky-high rents and business costs in the Bay Area while also trying to avoid layoffs and do right by their employees. The federal government needs to step up and provide immediate relief through grants and zero interest loans. Now is not the time to short-change the American people,” said Rep. Jackie Speier.

The text of the letter can be found here