WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced that more than 8,700 small business owners and leaders across America have signed on to entrepreneur and philanthropist Howard Schultz’s letter supporting the RESTART Act. Last month, Schultz led more than 100 current and former prominent CEOs on a letter to Congressional leadership expressing support for the type of low-interest, partially forgivable, long-term working capital loan proposed in the RESTART Act. Since then, the letter has gained the support of thousands of small businesses owners in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, including at least 85 small businesses in Colorado, 55 small businesses in Indiana, 104 local Chamber of Commerce leaders, and 65 veteran-led businesses.
The full letter and list of signatories can be viewed HERE.
“The more than 8,700 small business owners who signed this letter are sending a clear message: RESTART is the support they need to keep their businesses afloat,” Bennet said. “This is the only bipartisan proposal of its kind, and if we want to save small businesses and fuel the American economy, Congress must include RESTART in the next relief package. I’m grateful to Sen. Young for being a relentless partner in writing and advocating for this legislation and to Howard Schultz for his leadership in building momentum. Leaders across the country have spoken—it’s time for Congress to listen.”
“As I have heard from countless small businesses in Indiana, and now thousands of small business leaders nationwide – the need for assistance is dire,” Young said. “More than half of the Senate supports our RESTART Act, and a long-term loan program like this would provide critical relief to our small and mid-sized businesses and the millions of Americans they employ. We are at a crossroads in this economic crisis and to prevent irreparable damage we must act in a responsible and meaningful way by passing the RESTART Act.”
“America’s small businesses are sounding the alarm to members of Congress,” said Starbucks chairman emeritus Howard Schultz. “Now is the time for comprehensive, bipartisan action to provide relief to millions of small businesses that are at risk of closure because of the COVID crisis. They are calling on the leaders of the House and Senate to embrace key principles outlined in the RESTART Act, which has 55 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and 140 in the House, to provide small businesses with the means to survive. Our small businesses are too important to let fail.”
Bennet and Young are pushing for the RESTART Act to be included in any final coronavirus relief package that passes the Senate. The RESTART Act has received the support of 55 bipartisan Senate cosponsors and is endorsed by over 40 trade associations. Companion legislation was also introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Jared Golden (D-Maine) and continues to gain momentum.
Today, at 10:00 AM ET, Bennet, Young, and Schultz will participate in a panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to discuss RESTART and the ways in which the federal government can continue supporting small businesses. Questions for panelists may be sent via Twitter using the hashtag #AskAEIEcon. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to watch the live event.