Dear Editor, 

For nearly six months, Virginia’s small business owners have struggled to keep the lights on in the midst of a pandemic and stay at home orders. Now, Congress is on recess while a quarter of small businesses report they will not last another three months without additional funding. The state legislature is meeting right now with a special session, and with inaction in D.C., this is an important opportunity for Virginia to act in the best interest of the state's small businesses. 

Small businesses don’t have a contingency plan for a pandemic. Many businesses are working with thin profit margins and even a 25% dip in sales can be devastating. 

My business was lucky to receive funding from both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, but not without many strings attached. The stimulus package was a sign of hope for small businesses like mine as we began seeing extreme losses in profits, but little work has been done to improve the flaws of the program. 

Small businesses are essential to Virginia’s economy and I hope that policymakers will take our needs seriously during this special session. Small businesses need access to direct cash grants and business resources, or else we will see small businesses disappear from Main Streets across the state forever.

Marietta Naramore

Fairfax, VA

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