Small Business Support

For the last two decades small businesses have led California’s economic growth.  COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crises are threatening economic security & the endurance of small businesses. 

Before the pandemic, California’s leaders and PR Boosters convinced themselves, and maybe the rest of us as well, that the State had developed a sustainable economic model.  This pandemic and economic crisis have proved this to be false.  Furthermore, we have had a State Government which has failed to support small businesses at every step of the way.  COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crisis have left our State’s small entrepreneurs, particularly in underserved communities, left facing major readjustments, many may never reopen again.   

As a small business owner myself, I know that these crises have hit every corner in every small business sector, with rippling effects that will likely impact us for many many years to come.  And yet, perhaps most immediately threatened, are the small businesses that focus on serving local residents in local communities.  Restaurants for example, detail a devastating reality that our government and Governor continue to fail.  According to the California Restaurant Association, more than 90,000 restaurants are owned and operated by independent proprietors, employing 1.4 million food service workers,  generating more sales tax than any other industry in the State of California, and some 60% of those 90,000 restaurants are owned by People of Color.  Data shows that over 60% of restaurants have closed as a result of these crises and circumstances from government response, however CRA is predicting that a minimum of 30% of our local restaurants will never return without direct government assistance.

Unlike the privileged PPP Loans that Governor Newsom assured for his personal restaurant group with the Gettys’, data confirms that over 98% of small businesses across the country, and in California, have received no Federal support with PPP Loans. Expansive & impactful California State support remains nonexistent.  This is unacceptable.  We cannot pride ourselves on diverse local Californian economies when we have allowed local businesses to shutter and incentivized private equity and chain retailers to take their place. 

I, and my government, will not look out for Wall Street.  Our focus and allegiance is to Main Street. We cannot lose the charm & identity of our communities to large corporations who don’t know us or care to. I believe small businesses (businesses and Corporations with less than 500 employees – excluding gig economy Corporations) deserve protections in these unnecessarily trying times.  As your Governor, I would use the California  Emergency Services Act (2 CCR § 8550-8669.7) and the authority vested to me in 2 CCR § 8567a & 2 CCR § 8569-8570 in order to mitigate the effects of our declared States of Emergency both for COVID-19 and our economic crisis by implementing the following to build and maintain a resilient small business economy:

  • State of California Small Business Crisis Assistance Department to assist with all current and future declared State of Emergencies:  
    • Will provide material support for Small Businesses severely impacted by current COVID-19 and economic crises.  Will use data to identify at-risk small businesses for future material support initiatives and needs;
    • Create pathways in each locality for small business feedback and supportive legislation;  
    • Incentivize small businesses to remain in the State and revitalize localities in need; 
    • Small Business Pandemic Response Initiatives available for safety compliance with COVID-19 or any other future pandemic the State of California faces;
  • California State-Paid COVID-19 employee protocol training and compliance certification checks; 
  • California State-Paid workforce redevelopment initiative to expand employment opportunities for #OurCalifornia to begin working again:
    • Two  (2) Percentage Point Reduction in State Taxes for every subsequent  year all COVID-19 redevelopment staff remain employed for up to five (5) years after the declared COVID-19 & Economic Crises State of Emergency have ended;
  • Provide a full Commercial rent/mortgage cancellation applied to each small business in the State of California when #OurCalifornia Economic Recovery Task Force workplace and worker material conditions are met;
  • Provide a full eviction moratorium for both residential and commercial properties occupied by small business owners for the duration of these COVID-19 and Economic crises declared States of Emergency, and for one full year following. Receive a 5.0 COVID-19 Eviction score;
  • In the true spirit of Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California campaign, I will call on fellow Citizens, Socialists, Governors, and fellow Socialist Gubernatorial campaigns across this country to adopt and implement the same.

Given Governor Newsom’s declared States of Emergency and his Constitutional authority, there is nothing logistically stopping Governor Newsom from adopting and immediately implementing all of these policies for the small businesses in the great State of California, and for #OurCalfironia.  I call on him to do so immediately.