MORRIS COUNTY — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) led ten fellow Frontline Members of Congress in a letter this week to President Joe Biden urging the Administration to support and help negotiate a targeted relief package to assist small businesses currently suffering from the surge in Omicron-variant transmission.
Consumer demand for businesses centered on in-person gatherings, such as restaurants and live venues, has been greatly impacted by the current wave of Omicron cases while workforce shortages for these industries have been exacerbated as transmission and hospitalizations rise. At the same time, the essential small business relief programs available earlier in the pandemic are no longer in place, making it difficult for hard-hit businesses to make ends meet. Combined, the nation could see a new wave of business closures in the coming months without additional, targeted assistance.
“As we have met with small business owners and local elected officials over the past several months, we have heard unanimous concern about the impact of Omicron on the economic health of our communities,” wrote the lawmakers in their letter to President Biden. “To this end, we urge the Administration to immediately work with Congress to pass a targeted small business relief package that focuses on the industries most hard-hit by the Omicron surge.”
In addition to leading this letter, Rep. Sherrill for the past two years has been a strong advocate for enhanced assistance and relief for small businesses, the lifeblood of the nation’s economy and communities. She co-sponsored the original RESTAURANTS Act in July 2020, which was enacted through the American Rescue Plan as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. She also led advocacy to expand funding for the RRF and co-sponsored a bill to replenish those funds for restaurants in need. In addition, she co-sponsored the Save Our Stages Act in September 2020, which was enacted through the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package, and co-sponsored legislation to provide an extension of this support to live venues. Finally, she also led outreach to extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit for hard-hit small businesses.