Ellenberg, Chavez: a plan to assist small companies
This month marks the primary anniversary of the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Santa Clara County, however this March seems to be very completely different from final 12 months. We have now many causes to be optimistic in 2021 that we do not have in 2020 due to the large sacrifices and the tenacious work that has been undertaken by our whole neighborhood to combat again – with vaccines, with testing and with assist. mutual.
As our stunning and numerous communities endured the large burdens and ache introduced by COVID-19, now we have fought to make sure that each aspect of our neighborhood receives the assist it must face the pandemic. Final month, we teamed as much as lengthen Hero Pay to individuals who work in our massive retail and grocery shops. We at the moment are reunited on what we see as the opposite facet of this equity story. We have to assist our small companies, a lot of which have been crushed by the pandemic and the restrictions wanted to comprise it.
Our communities – from East Facet to Gilroy, Sunnyvale to Palo Alto, downtown Willow Glen to Japantown – are made up of small companies that not solely make use of our residents and supply them with items and companies, however are pillars as properly. of their particular person neighborhoods. They get entangled and provides again to those communities that they’ve known as residence, usually for a number of generations. Sadly, this pandemic has pressured a lot of them to shut, some briefly however others completely.
A current report from the county signifies that 2,600 meals institutions are presently inactive and 1,000 have closed completely. Purposes for non permanent permits have fallen by 75% for the reason that begin of the pandemic. These numbers symbolize the destruction of lives of laborious work and fervour, of careers that weren’t ended by market drive or their very own fault.
Every of those companies represents lives and livelihoods, and whereas we can not reopen them, we should do the whole lot in our energy to cease the numbers from rising.
Our plan is straightforward. Cut back or get rid of all county charges for companies with lower than 50 workers that stay affected by COVID public well being orders (e.g., grocery retailer, restaurant, physique artwork, and a few indoor swimming services) situated anyplace within the Santa Clara County.
Simply as we must be paying extra to workers who work for giant nationwide chains who, fairly frankly, profited from the pandemic, we now want to come back to the help of their smaller native rivals who’ve been closed or restricted of their operations.
States and localities throughout the nation have taken completely different approaches to this pandemic, every with benefits and drawbacks. Nonetheless, our residents and native companies have paid an enormous worth to realize this well being end result.
It’s honest and equitable to share the sacrifice each time potential. We are going to urge our colleagues on Tuesday to take this significant step to assist our smaller native companies get to the opposite facet of the pandemic. The county can bear the lack of earnings far more simply than it may well and we have to take that accountability in order that we will all transfer ahead – collectively.
Susan Ellenberg and Cindy Chavez are the Santa Clara County Supervisors.