Parsippany, NJ -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) hosted a virtual roundtable discussion this week with Black small business owners in the community to hear about the challenges facing small businesses during COVID-19, their experiences with the PPP and EIDL programs, and issues business owners anticipate as we move to the fall and winter months. This August is the 14th Annual National Black Business Month, and the business owners on the call highlighted the strength of the Black-owned small business community in North Jersey across different sectors.
Representative Sherrill was joined by the following business owners:
Denise Ford Sawadogo, Montclair Brewery
Hakika DuBose Wise, Kika Stretch Studios, Montclair
Leslie Allen, Win4Life Enterprises and West End Residential
Casey Carpenter, Speak & Own It Communications
Isaiah Findley-Pinnock, Eso Artisanal Pasta, Morristown
Eugene Lennon-Wynn and Brandon Baskerville, Empyre9, Totowa
Lori Montague, Wood Legacy Productions
Rep. Sherrill has continued her advocacy for the NJ-11 small business community throughout the pandemic. This week, she co-sponsored the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act (H.R. 7241). This legislation will allow small businesses with under 100 employees who have seen revenue declines of at least 50% to apply for a 2nd PPP loan and would extend the decline to apply for an initial PPP loan to the end of this year. It would require the SBA to issue guidance to lenders instructing them to prioritize lending to underserved businesses -- given that Black-owned small businesses were greatly underserved by the initial round of PPP loans, this will directly allow them to receive priority this round. The P4 also requires the Small Business Administration to collect demographic information about PPP recipients.