September 22, 2020 Press Releases

During Small Business Week, Trump’s Failed Leadership Still Hurting Arizona Small Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

CONTACT: Tyler Cherry, tcherry@azdem.org

During Small Business Week, Trump’s Failed Leadership Still Hurting Arizona Small Businesses

PHOENIX – During National Small Business Week, Arizona’s small businesses are still hurting as a result of Donald Trump’s failed pandemic response and botched rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which benefited large corporations and wealthy donors while leaving struggling small business owners behind, particularly business owners of color. Arizona is home to more than 590,000 small businesses that employ over a million Arizonans, including over 100,000 Latino-owned small businesses.

Trump’s failures are directly impacting small business owners. Auto-repair shop owner and Tucson resident Steven Sickinger saw his economic livelihood upended “when customers stopped coming to the auto-repair shop he managed.” He has since had to take a pay cut — and now, due to the economic fallout of Trump’s failed pandemic response, “he is in the process of filing for bankruptcy.”

In response, Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson Tyler Cherry released the following statement: 

“Small businesses are the backbone of Arizona’s economy. But as a direct result of Donald Trump’s catastrophic failure to contain the coronavirus, small businesses across Arizona are being crushed. Before the pandemic hit, Trump’s economic policies and tax cuts gave massive windfalls to the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of hard working Americans. Now, Trump’s disastrous pandemic response is causing small businesses in every community to collapse. Arizonans deserve leaders like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who have a plan to contain the pandemic, stop the economic fallout, and help our small business communities build back better.”

Trump botched the rollout of the PPP program, delaying badly needed assistance for small businesses — yet he still managed to look out for rich corporations. 

  • Trump botched the rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was plagued by technical glitches and website crashes, and failed to provide adequate guidance, delaying badly needed assistance for small businesses.

  • Instead of helping small businesses that needed aid the most, Trump let PPP funds meant for small businesses go to large corporations, and companies owned by his donors and allies

  • Nearly 300 publicly traded companies received more than $1 billion meant for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. On top of that, $273 million in loans from the PPP went to more than 100 companies owned or operated by Trump donors and Associates

Now, small businesses across Arizona have closed down, with business owners of color being hit disproportionately hard, and millions are at risk of having to do the same. But Trump failed to provide more relief. 

  • Trump’s rules for the Paycheck Protection Program prevented many small firms and minority-owned businesses from getting any help at all.

  • Now, more than 110,000 small businesses have closed permanently — and business owners of color have been hit disproportionately hard. 41% of Black-owned small businesses, 32% of Latinx-owned businesses, and 26% of AAPI-owned small businesses closed between February and April.

  • As Trump fails to get the coronavirus under control, small business optimism fell last month and expectations for future sales have plummeted. As of June 2020, nearly a quarter of small businesses considered shutting down permanently, and more than one in 10 faced bankruptcy.