PHOTOS: Murray takes questions from small business owners
WA businesses have received more than $9 billion in federal relief since the pandemic started, thanks in large part to Senator Murray
***WATCH: Video of event HERE***
(Seattle, WA) — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray held a campaign town hall at Hellbent Brewing in Seattle with local small business leaders from across the region. At the event, which was moderated by Ballard Alliance Executive Director Mike Stewart, Murray answered questions from small business owners and discussed her work tackling the issues facing small businesses — from inflation to crime to child care. The event is part of Senator Murray’s Patty for WA Campaign Tour of town halls and Get Out The Vote events to discuss key issues at stake in the November election.
During the town hall, Murray discussed her advocacy for Washington’s small businesses, including securing critical funding to help small businesses keep their doors open and employees on payroll in the American Rescue Plan and other critical pandemic recovery legislation including the CARES Act. In particular, Murray helped secure more than $28 billion to create a Restaurant Revitalization Fund in the American Rescue Plan. Thanks in large part to Senator Murray’s advocacy, Washington state businesses have received more than $9 billion in federal relief since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy here in Washington state,” said Senator Murray. “But our small businesses are dealing with a lot of challenges right now, from inflation and supply chain issues to staff shortages and the rising cost of child care. I’m in constant touch with small business owners in our state, and I’m proud that as soon as the pandemic hit, we got to work quickly and passed bipartisan legislation to help small businesses keep their doors open. With Democrats in charge, we’ve done even more: from the American Rescue Plan, which included a lot of support for small businesses in our state, to the CHIPS Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will help ease supply chain issues and make it easier for goods to get where they need to go.”
Murray also emphasized her focus on lowering everyday costs for the basics and tackling inflation: she pointed to the legislation she’s passed like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and CHIPS and Science Act to help strengthen supply chains as well as her work to lower everyday costs for the basics like prescription drug costs, while pressing the administration to leverage every resource and tool at its disposal to help ease supply bottlenecks and strengthen existing supply chains. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, for example, makes historic investments in Washington state’s ports, roads, and bridges.
Murray also discussed how she’s prioritizing public safety at the federal level and that tackling crime requires a multi-faceted approach that tackles all sides of the challenges local communities are facing. Murray spoke about her work to secure federal dollars to help Seattle and other cities in Washington tackle crime — the American Rescue Plan she played a leading role in passing included critical funding to keep law enforcement officers on payroll, and help police departments hire more. Murray also passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act which provided increased funding for community violence intervention programs and mental health in addition to expanding background checks for those under 21 and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers — Murray noted that she would continue to push for more comprehensive gun safety reforms like universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. And as Chair of the Senate HELP Committee, Murray is working to negotiate bipartisan legislation to tackle the mental health and substance use disorder crises — under the Trump administration, Murray passed the most comprehensive federal response to the opioid crisis to date.
Participants also raised the crisis of homelessness — Murray underscored the importance of the American Rescue Plan as the largest mortgage and rental relief program in history, but she emphasized the need for long-term solutions to housing. In particular, Murray stressed the need to boost the supply of housing and her advocacy on the Senate Appropriations Committee for a federal housing supply fund to help build more homes and drive down costs while tackling a key driver of inflation. Murray committed to continuing to fight for supportive services like federal housing voucher programs that help provide a safe home for Washington state families experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
A former preschool teacher, Murray also talked about her continued fight in the U.S. Senate for affordable child care and a federal paid family and medical leave program — both are key priorities that ensure small businesses can hire and retain workers and help put small businesses on an even playing field with larger companies.
“There’s a lot more we need to do to build an economy that puts small businesses and working people first,” Senator Murray continued. “I am leading the fight in the U.S. Senate to get a strong federal paid leave policy over the finish line, and I have a plan to make child care affordable for every family — which would go a long way in helping address workforce and labor issues. Meanwhile, my opponent has no real solutions or serious proposals to address the challenges small businesses are facing. She would be a rubber stamp for the MAGA agenda, which is focused on ripping away people’s rights and keeping billionaires and big corporations happy — while leaving everyone else, including small business owners, to pick up the tab.”