Small businesses, micro-businesses, and nonprofits face many of the same challenges daily. Not knowing whether the few remaining employees will stay on payroll or whether this month is the last month of service is evidence that the struggle is real for the businesses and their employees.
A couple of weeks ago I hosted a small business Town Hall. I was amazed to hear of the similar struggles that many small business owners face. From PPP loans to “operating safely” concerns, the feeling of worry was there, but to my surprise, so were the feelings of hope and resiliency.
Sonia Cisneros, owner and founder of Tru Branding, shared her frustrations towards the PPP loan applications and how hard it is for a one or two-person business to get any help with the application process, not to mention any follow-up on the status of those applications.
The two restaurant/bar owners on the Town Hall, Vanessa Martinez (El Luchador) and Jaime Macias (Jaime’s Place), shared similar experiences of acquiring restaurant licenses and pivoting all services to the outdoors even cold winter months.
Offering a contrasting view, Dr. Lyssa Ochoa, CEO, and president of The SAVE Clinic highlighted the pivotal moments in which the clinic pushed through to continue providing patient care – many living in District 5.
The most striking takeaway I had from listening to these District 5 business owners was the strong message of hope and resiliency: Hope that residents will continue to support their local small businesses, and community resiliency to bounce back from hardship.
As a small business owner and the son of small business owners, I know what it is like to experience waiting weeks for pending payments or having to put off paying a bill or two until the next check comes through. I know it isn’t easy.
As your Councilman, I will fight to ensure our small businesses are taken care of and have a strong advocate at the forefront of economic recovery. For many residents, employment equals healthcare, employment equals food, and employment is the difference between keeping a roof over your head or becoming homeless.
We need to provide resources so that small business owners have easier access to loan programs, grants, and additional funding. This is how we keep your favorite local restaurants open. Local small businesses are part of our community and we need to work together to take care of them which in turn takes care of our gente.