The Salt Lake Chamber, Downtown Alliance, and Utah Chamber Policy Coalition sent the following letter to Legislative leaders to advocate for targeted appropriation of remaining CARES Act funds to go towards small and local businesses:
“Dear Governor Gary Herbert, President Stuart Adams, and Speaker Brad Wilson:
“On behalf of the Salt Lake Chamber, Downtown Alliance, and the Utah Chamber Policy Coalition, I write to you today regarding use of the State’s remaining CARES Act funds.
“As Utah’s largest business organization, we have worked very closely with businesses, large and small, since the beginning of the pandemic. Based on our experiences with these businesses, and reflecting on past assistance programs, we ask the state to disburse remaining CARES Act funds through a short term, emergency grant program for businesses in industries that have been most impacted and are least likely to survive without assistance.
“While many businesses have been able to adapt and continue operations under the current constraints and challenges, others are unable to operate in any way close to normal business volumes due to health restrictions and guidelines. While we support these guidelines and believe careful measures have been necessary to help control the virus spread and keep the economy operating, it is difficult to watch those businesses that are wilting under the restrictions that affect them disproportionately.
“Restaurants, small retail businesses, hotels, businesses that support conventions and social events, and arts organizations are among those most significantly impacted. Even though these businesses have shown incredible tenacity, ingenuity, and fortitude, it is impossible for them to operate anywhere near the levels at which they operated at this time last year.
“These businesses have been true team players-they are acting in the public good and are struggling as a result. Assistance targeted for these businesses would be the best and highest use of these funds as it will help local businesses keep employees on the payroll, continue to operate through the holiday season, and hopefully survive to see the other side of the vaccine. Keeping individuals employed and local businesses afloat is the quintessence of ‘an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure.’
“However this money is distributed to these businesses, it is important that the process be streamlined, time sensitive and not burdensome. While we appreciate the need to be careful, these struggling businesses do not have the resources or time to apply for a complicated loan or deal with uncertainty. Ease of application is of the utmost importance.
“We look forward to working with you or providing any additional information that we can.”