Glenn Kaplan, owner of Make Westing; Brian Crookes, owner of Oakland's The Kebabery; Shirin Raza, owner of Oakland's Bar Shiru; Elizabeth Frumusa, owner of Oakland's Bellanico Restaurant; Martina Nemling,co-owner of Oakland's Modern Coffee; Rhamy Kirdani, owner of Walnut Creek's Twisted Times Restaurant; and Matt Dooling, co-owner of Walnut Creek's North Canyon Cider Company, are among the East Bay business owners who have joined thousands more nationwide in formally asking the US Congress to "bail out Main Street" with stimulus funds during the Covid-19 crisis.
Signed thus far by over 12,000 small-business owners nationwide and processed through the Washington, DC-based SmallBusinessMajority.org advocacy outfit, the document
addressed to Congress reads in part:
"The COVID-19 pandemic has left America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs on the brink of collapse through no fault of our own. People are struggling, our businesses are closing or slowing operations, and many of us are being forced to lay off our hard-working employees en masse. Immediate action is needed by Congress and the Administration, which is why we call on you to provide a massive and bold stimulus package for Main Street that includes grant assistance.
"Small businesses employ 47 percent of private sector workers in the U.S. That’s nearly 60 million individuals who depend on small businesses like ours for their livelihood and the livelihood of their families. If we’re going to rebuild our economy after this crisis, we need our elected officials to put small businesses front and center of this relief effort.
"While preliminary action on economic stimulus packages was a step in the right direction, the funds disbursed for new small business loans will just begin to scratch the surface of what we need. We’ve reached a point now where small businesses need much more than loans to reopen or keep our businesses going—we need an immediate cash infusion. Otherwise we will still struggle to keep our doors open, rehire staff, mitigate supply chain disruptions, and pay off mounting debt. ...
"We urge you to act now to provide immediate cash flow assistance and other important policy solutions to support America’s small businesses. This is the only way to ensure our businesses and our economy can survive the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19."
Other East Bayites who signed the document include Malaka Wilson-Greene, owner of Oakland's Two Chicks in the Mix; Olivia Colt, owner of Oakland's Salt & Honey; Oscar Michel, owner of Oakland's Tacos Oscar; Lito Saldana, owner of El Cerrito's Los Moles; and many more.