Our Communities and Small Businesses Are Being Left Behind
Vancouver, WA — Yesterday, Carolyn Long penned an op-ed in the Camas-Washougal Post-Record on the coronavirus crisis’ impacts on our communities and small businesses, and Congress’ response, which has left far too many people behind.
Read excerpts of Carolyn’s op-ed below and read the full article here:
When I’m speaking with small business owners throughout our district, I keep hearing the same question: Why is so much of the Paycheck Protection Program money going to large companies rather than the small businesses it’s meant for? We’ve read the headlines and heard D.C. politicians talking a good game — but our communities are still waiting. Congress isn’t getting the job done and small businesses are being left behind.
Cities and counties throughout our district are preparing for massive blows to their budgets. We know what that means: unsafe staffing for first responders, decreased funding for teachers and schools, and fewer resources for the health care workers on the front lines of this crisis. The very people who keep our communities running are being hung out to dry.
Let’s be clear: the problem is not a lack of spending from D.C. politicians. Over the last several weeks, Congress has added trillions to the national debt without oversight on where the money is going — but it’s clear it isn’t reaching our communities. Every day, while small businesses in our neighborhoods are forced to lay people off and shut their doors, billions of dollars in PPP and emergency aid are going to huge corporations and political insiders. D.C. has definitely opened the checkbook, just not for us.
In this moment of crisis, we need our leaders to represent and fight for all of us, not just the well-connected. From fully funding our small businesses and making sure the money makes it to our communities, to expanding testing and PPE for our frontline health care workers, D.C. needs to get the job done.
From teachers and students forced to adapt to online education, to working families and small business owners struggling to get by, we’re seeing exactly how hard the Coronavirus crisis is hitting Southwest Washington. I know what this crisis would have meant for my family and our produce stand — especially if we were left behind by D.C. the way so many in our communities have been. This moment has put into perspective what many of us have known for a long time: we need leadership that works for us.