Bipartisan mayors advocate for federal funds to help microbusinesses

Both Republican and Democratic mayors from cities across the country on Thursday called for more support for the smallest of small businesses — firms with fewer than 10 employees.

Speaking at The Hill’s Revitalizing America’s Cities event, Nan Whaley (D), mayor of Dayton, Ohio, and president of the United States Conference of Mayors, said local governments welcome federal funding, so long as the communities can play a decisive role in how that money gets allocated.

“For the federal government, the best thing we like to say as mayors is like: Look, help us get resources, but then let us make local decisions to really move for what’s best for each and every community,” she told The Hill’s Steve Clemons.


John Giles, the Republican mayor of Mesa, Ariz., said mayors need to be the voice in Washington for microbusinesses.

“It’s up to us as local government folks to be advocates for the smaller businesses that don’t have the clout in Washington, D.C.,” he said.


Federal support is incredibly valuable during disasters and crises, said Daniella Levine Cava (D), mayor of Miami-Dade County in Florida, who cited the recent Surfside condominium collapse.

“We are going through this horrendous Surfside building collapse and the businesses in that area have of course been affected by the changes in the traffic and so on. And Small Business Administration showed up on scene and has been providing really tremendous help,” she said.

Some mayors who spoke at the event sponsored by GoDaddy highlighted minority-owned microbusinesses. David Holt (R), the mayor of Oklahoma City, discussed initiatives designed to help Black and Hispanic businesses during the pandemic.

“We got with the Black chamber, we got with the Hispanic chamber, we got with all the different arms of the city that we possibly could to reach out into the community and make sure that these businesses were aware of these resources, were going to take advantage of them, and ultimately could survive so that we could build the economy, the equitable economy that we want to build.”

Brandon Scott (D), the mayor of Baltimore, described what he refers to as “the two Baltimores,” pledging a commitment to the “forgotten Baltimore” — minority and low-income communities and businesses.

“That’s why we’re going to invest in a lens equity in every single thing and every way that we operate as a city,” he said. “It’s going to take a long time to break down those decades of disinvestments in certain communities, mostly Black, but brown communities and poor communities in Baltimore.”

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