Black Mayors Applaud HEROES Act for Providing Critical Local Support

Published on May 15, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) — Today, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which includes a myriad of policies that will help cities nationwide recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation funnels $375 billion to local governments to help them mitigate the fiscal impacts from the public health emergency the pandemic has caused. 
“Cities across the country are in desperate need of additional funding to support their communities through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. With $250 billion awarded within 30 days to all municipalities and counties, the bill offers the immediate relief needed to cities. With these funds, Mayors can craft policies that are specifically tailored to their communities and ensure an equitable recovery,” said Mayor McKinley Price, DDS of Newport News, VA -- the president of the African American Mayors Association. 
The bill would also bolster local businesses by extending the Paycheck Protection Program through the end of the year and dedicating 25 percent of all existing funds to businesses with 10 or fewer employees. Further, it alleviates burdens to borrowers deemed ineligible due to prior criminal history. 
This is a great start but we can go further. That’s why dozens of black mayors joined Senator Booker in calling on Congress to include the RELIEF for Main Street Act in the next COVID-19 recovery package. The Act would funnel $50 billion to states and localities, which would supply loans and grants to very small and minority-owned businesses. Many of these businesses did not receive funding through the Paycheck Protection Program.
“We are thankful that the House developed a COVID-19 relief package that supports local communities and businesses. We hope that Senators will take these provisions seriously and include them in the final bill,” said Mayor McKinley Price, DDS. “Moving forward, Congress should allocate more funding for historically black colleges and universities, who have always filled a unique role in educating communities of color.”
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