My partner and I own a small business in Portland. Including ourselves, we employ nine people.

Sadly, the CARES Act did little to nothing for small businesses like us. The $600 weekly emergency supplement has placed a barrier between employers and employees. This extra money is more than most would make if they returned to work – not an ideal scenario for employers when you’re asking someone to place themselves in the eye of the storm.

Additionally, as we look to the future for a return to work date, we are tasked with preparing for a new “normal” that is less than ideal. We will not return to the volume that maintained what was once a harmonious operation. The health and safety of our staff are paramount; so are the health and safety of our community. But if we stay home and remain closed, there’s a real risk of permanent closure.

When this pandemic swept across our nation, we assumed the most powerful country in the world would have a plan, a plan that would include support for the backbone of our economy, small businesses. While larger corporations and individuals receive a lifeline, our only hope has been to qualify for a “grant” that’s designed to compete with a financial package greater than a normal working wage. The CARES Act is a failure.

We are pleading with you for a lifeline. Please don’t forget about us.

Christopher May and Olivia Polselli

Portland

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