Paycheck Protection Likely to Be Tweaked As Congress Considers New Responses To Coronavirus Stimulus
After several rounds of swift, bipartisan action, there appears to be agreement on fixing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with both chambers and the administration talking about extending the eight-week covered period. However, beyond that, the chambers may be reaching a fork in the road.
The House passed the HEROES Act, a sweeping $3 trillion package, that includes some fixes to the PPP, stronger action on paid and emergency sick leave, increased funding for states, enhanced unemployment and much else. But additional House action on PPP is likely.
Senate leadership and the President described the HEROES Act as “dead on arrival,” with the Republican leadership talking much more limited action and strong reluctance to include new funding at this point.
Rep. Pocan Highlights Small Business Town Hall With ASBC/AMIBA
This month ASBC co-hosted a Small Business Town Hall with the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) featuring Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin. Rep. Pocan is the co-chair of the progressive caucus but also a small business owner. As a strong advocate for small business, Rep. Pocan was able to answer questions regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and offer his input regarding the prospects for additional small business relief in upcoming Congressional action.
ASBC Endorses the Clean Water for All Act
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced the Clean Water for All Act with endorsement from ASBC. If passed, the bill would rescind the administration’s reckless new rule, finalized in January, that removes protections for countless wetlands and streams across the country, putting at risk the waterways which our communities and businesses rely on. You can request your representative support the Clean Water for All Act here: https://www.asbcouncil.org/protect-waters-us
Lawton Appointed To NJ Governor’s Restart & Recovery Council
Richard Lawton, executive director of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, an ASBC affiliate, has been named to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Restart and Advisory Council. The Council will bring together leaders from diverse industry groups and community organizations throughout the Garden State to advise state leadership on economic matters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawton’s focus will be on the Council’s Main Street subcommittee.
WORKING GROUP UPDATES
Creating an Economic System that Works for All
ASBC’s Creating an Economic System that Works for All Working Group met earlier this month and continues it’s work identify and develop the 10 most important business-related public policy initiatives required to Create an Economy that Works for All. Elected leaders working with business and other stakeholders must craft policies that address the challenges we face.
ASBC is committed to influencing policy makers and regulators on economic, environmental, workplace, and social issues that foster broad-based prosperity. These include issues such as: promoting income equality to strengthen the middle class, addressing climate change, upgrading public infrastructure, promoting an equitable tax system, supporting a diverse and inclusive society, fostering innovation in safer chemicals and sustainable products and packaging, supporting clean water and regenerative agriculture and encouraging new models of employee ownership.
Looking through the business lens and using the stakeholder framework, ASBC is organizing proposed policy initiatives into five areas: 1) Business Governance for Stakeholder Benefit 2) Worker Wellbeing 3) Consumers and communities 4) Government, Money & Politics and 5) Environment.
The Sustainable Packaging Working Group welcomed several new participants: Danielle Jezienicki, Grove Collaborative; Suzanne Vetillart, Boma Jewelry; and Emily Dirksen, Method. The group also finalized its op-ed. The op-ed is 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 worth and pushing back against those attempting to exploit the pandemic to roll back progress or block efforts to move toward a more circular economy. Finally, the group began to make plans to conduct a webinar on the Principles adopted early in the year.
Welcome New Members
Grove Collaborative (Gold Level) Launched in 2016 as a Certified B Corp, Grove Collaborative creates innovative natural products and offers a curated selection of healthy home essentials like cleaning supplies and personal care products. With a flexible, monthly delivery model and a personal Grove Guide assigned to each customer, Grove’s platform makes it easy for people to switch to healthier, more sustainable routines. Every item Grove offers, both from their flagship Grove Collaborative brand and from exceptional third party brands, has been thoroughly vetted against strict standards for sustainability, efficacy and supply chain practices. On a mission to move Beyond Plastic, Grove is the first and only plastic neutral retailer in the world and is committed to becoming 100% plastic-free by 2025.
Project Equity (Silver Level) Project Equity’s mission is to foster economic resiliency with low-income communities by demonstrating and replicating strategies that increase worker ownership.
Aurify Brands (Bronze Level) Aurify Brands recognizes opportunities. Aurify Brands supports good ideas and even better people. Aurify Brands cherishes excellence, positive culture, and memorable experiences, for their customers and themselves. They build ideas into businesses, and businesses into brands. Aurify Brands does much more than invest, sit back and watch things grow. And Social Impact is core to what drives Aurify Brands’ culture and business strategy - by striving to improve their people's lives, reduce the negative impact on our planet, and positively impact their communities, the will enhance profitability and establish their brands' legacies.
Ecopreneur.eu (Association) Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, sets a course towards sustainable economic policies on the European level to support the economic and societal transformation across Europe and beyond. Ecopreneur.eu is a non-profit non-governmental organization under Belgian law. The federation presently holds six member associations from different countries of the European Union. Through Ecopreneur.eu these associations strengthen the voice of sustainable business in Brussels.
► Grove Collaborative Grove’s mission is to deliver household essentials that have a positive impact on human and environmental health. Taking a hard look at what sustainability leadership within the CPG industry looks like made it clear that there was no path forward for Grove that involved plastic, which led to their bold plastic announcement that we will be plastic free by 2025, and that they are plastic neutral as of 2020 through partnership with Plastic Bank. While they don’t have full transparency on how they will get there - the purpose is to move their industry forward through collaboration with brands dedicated to building a sustainable system, rather than doubling down on a broken one. Grove’s hope is that other brands join them, acknowledging that consumers are eagerly awaiting solutions to the global plastic pollution crisis.
As a first step to plastic-free, as of 2020, Grove is plastic neutral in partnership with Plastic Bank, a social enterprise that offers an internationally recognized solution to preventing ocean plastic pollution. Plastic neutral means that for every ounce of plastic that they ship to their customers, Plastic Bank recovers and recycles the same amount of ocean-bound plastic pollution. This is the same idea as carbon offsets, or being carbon neutral - and essentially creates a self-imposed version of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the absence of legislation that requires that packaging take recycling cost into consideration.
A key part of Grove’s ability to make an impact is by advocating for legislation that helps advance their industry towards a more sustainable path. Grove looks forward to partnering with our valued brand partners, such as Seventh Generation, and other industry leaders within ASBC to do so.
► Pure Strategies On May 13th, ASBC Member Pure Strategies launched its new webinar series: Pure Strategies Conversations with guest Jeffrey Hollender (Co-Founder, CEO and Board Chair of the American Sustainable Business Council). Tim Greiner, Managing Director of Pure Strategies, and Jeffrey explored what it takes to be a corporate leader in sustainability, including finding your corporate vision for a more sustainable future, how to manage competing business pressures to stay on course with your sustainability goals, how policy engagement fits, and news from ASBC’s important work to bring sustainability to national policy. Click here to watch the replay.
► National Stewardship Action Council
Heidi Sanborn, MPA, executive director of NSAC, an ASBC member, has been appointed to California’s new Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets & Curbside Recycling, which was created by The California Recycling Market Development Act (AB 1583, Eggman) signed into law in 2019 by Governor Newsom. The Council consists of representatives of public agencies, private solid waste enterprises, and environmental organizations that have expertise in recycling. Heidi is also a member of ASBC’s Sustainable Packaging Working Group and recently co-authored an op-ed on updating California’s successful bottle bill to accommodate the new environment created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Introducing ASBC's Policy Interns
Brian Liechti has a background in regenerative agriculture and higher education leadership. He is a recent graduate of the Bard MBA in Sustainability, where he specialized in ESG analysis and sustainable finance. Through Bard, he completed a yearlong consultancy with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reporting on the community economic and social benefits of renewable energy installations. Additionally, he is passionate about issues of local investing and employee ownership. Currently, he lives in Asheville, NC and enjoys yoga, hiking, and supporting local CSAs.
Carolyn Pincus is a small business owner with fifteen years in the food and beverage industry, currently a managing partner of three bars and restaurants in NYC. She has an MBA in Sustainability with a focus on Circular Economy from Bard College, a Certificate in Global Affairs from NYU-SCPS and a BFA from Fordham University/Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with a minor in Political Science. Through Bard College, she has had several consulting engagements, including with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reporting on the community economic and social benefits of renewable energy installations with Brian Liechti. She also has six years experience working for non-profits, in the areas of the performing arts, education and social justice.
Members, Please Send ASBC Your Updates!
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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.