Congress Adopts 4th Coronavirus Response, But Serious Problems Remain
With small businesses and their employees facing an existential crisis, the SBA’s Paycheck Program (PPP) opened in early April, but was plagued by administrative issues, questions about who was getting funding and then ran out of funds within two weeks. An additional $310 billion was added to the initial round of $300 billion in the fourth Congressional response, but many of the administrative issues were left unaddressed. Links to the fourth bill (HR 266) can be foundhere.
The SAVE OUR ECONOMY campaignorganized by ASBC, the American Independent Business Association and other business organizations generated support from over 650 businesses in demanding seven separate actions from Congress to help small businesses and their employees survive the pandemic.
As part of ASBC’s advocacy, we asked our members to share their experiences with the PPP and some of their responses can be found here.
On April 27th, ASBC hosted a town hall meeting. Thank you to all those who were able to attend and for those who missed it, you can view it here. The objective of the town hall was to come together as a community, support each other and collectively share our thoughts during this unprecedented time.
The town hall commenced with Jeffrey Hollender; Co-Founder, CEO & Board Chair, welcoming everyone. David Levine, Co-Founder & President, followed with opening remarks. Thomas Oppel, Executive Vice President, led a discussion on the business response to Covid-19 and then we opened it up to the community. Some of the main topics that were discussed included, the CARES Act, PPP, circular economy, climate change and creating an economy that works for all. Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh, VP Membership & Chief of Staff, shared an update on ASBC working groups as well as a new high road benefit through CapstoneCare Enhanced Telemedicine.
As always, we would love to hear from you regarding any issue that is important to you. ASBC stands ready to support all our members and we are grateful for your support of ASBC.
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WORKING GROUP UPDATES
Creating an Economic System that Works for All (formerly known as Make Capitalism Work for All)
There is clearly no going back. The Covid 19 crisis has revealed what many of us have always known, our current system of capitalism does not work for most Americans.
While capitalism remains a dynamic force, challenges such as income inequality, market consolidation, climate change, and the financialization and underinvestment in America’s economy pose serious threats to our continued global leadership and social stability. Many across the country view our current capitalist system as rigged and not working for them. Traditionally, businesses have focused on maximizing value for their owners and shareholders. But a growing chorus argues that this narrow focus has come at great cost to many others who also have a stake in the economy. If “capitalism is to work for all” then business leaders have to invent ways to simultaneously address the priorities of all their stakeholders.
In its second call, this group is working towards identifying and developing the 10 most important business-related public policy initiatives required to Create an Economy that Works for All. These public policies will be presented to the Platform Committee of the Democratic and Republican Parties when they meet this summer.
Climate & Energy
The objective of ASBC’s Climate & Energy working group is to discuss and identify key problems, solutions and strategies to address the climate and energy crisis our planet is facing. In addition to chairing the working group, Michael Green leads Climate XChange as an award-winning advocate for climate policy. He’s served as a representative to the United Nations focusing on international climate science and policy since 2012. Recognized as a Champion of Change by President Obama in 2016, Michael was honored for his focus on climate change as an equity issue.
Some of the topics covered in this month’s working group call included: Covid 19: how the virus is impacting climate efforts both positively and negatively (for example: reduction in pollution in various cities because of reduced air and automobile traffic; are there ways to use this in messaging and public policy), member updates and reflections from Earth Day.
The two lead staffers working on the Break Free Plastic Pollution legislation (HR 5845/S 3263) — Jonathan Black of Senator Udall’s staff and Shane Trimmer of Rep. Lowenthal’s staff – joined the working group to provide an update. With the coronavirus drawing most attention – and keeping Congress generally out of session – Black and Trimmer said there had been no committee action, but they were developing plans to rebuild momentum once Congress returns, now expected in early to mid-May.
The Working Group also agreed to draft an op-ed focused on building a post-pandemic world that is not simply a return to status quo, but “builds forward” toward a better, more resilient and less toxic world; pushing back against those attempting to exploit the pandemic to roll back progress or block efforts to move toward a more circular economy.
ASBC-BizNGO Safer Chemicals Public Policy
Join us for a webinar on the Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative. Hear from the contributing authors of the soon-to-be-released Childhood Cancer: Cross-Sector Strategies for Prevention Report! Learn about the growing initiative, ask questions, find out how we are working together and discover how you can get involved to advance childhood cancer prevention.
Nse Witherspoon, Children's Environmental Health Network,
Molly Jacobs, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production,
Howard Williams, Clean Production Action,
Bobbi Wilding, Clean & Healthy NY, and
David Levine, American Sustainable Business Council.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a huge stress on our health and our economy, but ASBC staff – like our members – are working from home to continue to advocate for a sustainable economy, including relief measures to help our members and their employees survive this pandemic. In the spirit of togetherness even in times of social distancing, we wanted to share these pictures of some of our staff and ask you to share your pictures and experiences with us as well.
David Levine, President & Co-Founder
Tymika Davis, Administrator
Thomas Oppel, Executive Vice President
Maya Fano-Caroti, Policy Intern
Members, Please Send ASBC Your Updates!
We encourage all members to send stories, blogs, photos or videos you’d like us to include on our website or in our monthly newsletter and support from a social media perspective. ASBC is proud to support you all the way! Please send these to Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh.
Also, we’d appreciate and be grateful for all our members to display the “Proud Member of ASBC” logo on their website and relevant marketing materials. As always, we’re grateful for your support of ASBC – thank you!
Welcome New Members
Asheville Grown (Association) Asheville Grown’s mission is to grow a resilient local economy and thriving community, champion the unique character of Asheville and Western North Carolina and advocate for prosperity for all.
Urban Manufacturing Alliance (Association) The Urban Manufacturing Alliance is a coalition of over 900 organizations and individuals across 200 cities working together to grow more equitable and prosperous economies in cities by building robust, environmentally sustainable, and inclusive urban manufacturing sectors. In everything they do, they are vigilant to ensure that the new urban manufacturing economy reflects the diversity of our cities and offers environmentally sustainable and inclusive equitable employment, ownership, and innovation opportunities to residents of all urban communities.
Member and Staff News
Maya Fano-Caroti, ASBC Policy Intern Maya Fano-Caroti started working with ASBC earlier this year as an ASBC intern. An undergraduate student at American University, Maya is pursuing a degree in International Relations with a focus on Global Economy and Environmental Sustainability. She is also pursuing a minor in International Business. Before working with ASBC she volunteered at Charity: Water in NYC, where she is originally from.
ASBC announces European-American Partnership We have recently formed a partnership with Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation to expand our endeavors of collaboration, joint initiatives and campaigns between the European Union and the United States. This partnership will help accelerate our transition to a sustainable economy.
The European Sustainable Business Federation, https://www.ecopreneur.eu sets a course towards sustainable and circular economy policies at European level to support the economic and societal transformation across Europe and beyond. Founded in 2016, the federation presently represents and strengthens the voice of 3,000 businesses in the EU. These businesses are mostly SMEs, frontruners in delivering sustainable products and services. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative Webinar | April 30 3 – 4 PM ET You and your members/networks are invited to join us for a webinar on the Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative and the soon to be released Childhood Cancer: Cross-Sector Strategies for Prevention Report! Join us to hear from the report's contributing authors, ask questions, and talk about ways to incorporate messaging about childhood cancers into your work.
StartingGood Virtual Summit 2020 Webinar | May 11 – 20 The #StartingGood Virtual Summit 2020 is a free virtual summit for social entrepreneurs and aspiring social innovators. Over a period of 2 weeks 30+ inspiring leaders in social innovation will speak and share their knowledge, journey and advice, with the aim of inspiring and empowering people to start doing good. ASBC CEO and Co-founder Jeffrey Hollender will be a keynote speaker.
Worker Co-op Conference Philadelphia, PA | September 11 – 13 The Worker Co-op Conference is the only national convening dedicated to worker ownership and workplace democracy. Coming together will be worker-owners, cooperative developers, policymakers, funders, and other allies, to make space for connection, education, skill-building, and sharing to improve the lives of workers and their families.
The Responsible Business Summit New York 2020 Brooklyn, NY | September 21 – 22 The Summit New York 2020 will convene 750+ leaders from across the globe to share their latest strategies, and more importantly, tangible insights into how they are helping deliver the required transformation of business. Jeffrey Hollender will moderate the session: Case study: Restoration of the Natural Capital.