A left-leaning business group urged President Biden on Tuesday to spend more taxpayer money on small businesses that are still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, adding to the list of demands ahead of the State of the Union address.
The Small Business Majority said Mr. Biden must replenish a Restaurant Revitalization Fund to help more than 180,000 aid applications that weren’t funded in the first round.
The group also told Mr. Biden to remain committed to passing his multitrillion-dollar social welfare and climate bill, saying it provides critical child care and paid medical and family-leave provisions that support business operations.
Third, it pushed Mr. Biden to enforce antitrust legislation so larger companies with near-monopoly power don’t get preferential treatments on digital platforms or within supply chains.
“Our polling indicates that most small businesses still have not returned to pre-pandemic operations, revenue, and workforce levels. They are still dealing with the repercussions of the pandemic and need substantial resources to support a long-term path towards recovery,” said John Arensmeyer, the founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, which represents 85,000 small businesses and 1,500 business organizations. “We hope that President Biden will utilize today’s SOTU to address some of the additional resources small businesses need to sustain a strong business ecosystem that could promote a thriving economy.”
Besides medical and child care supports, Mr. Biden’s big spending bill included $5 billion for small-business lending and assistance programs.
The massive bill known as the Build Back Better Act died in the Senate due to opposition from two centrist Democrats. Mr. Biden is pressing lawmakers to pass sections of it and will outline those priorities in his big speech to Congress.