WASHINGTON, D.C. – 100 mayors across the country, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Bozeman Mayor Chris Mehl, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan today endorsed a bipartisan, bicameral small business relief plan proposed by U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

The mayors represent a wide swath of cites stretching from coast to coast and encompassing both small, rural areas, as well as sprawling metropolises, including four of the five largest cities in the country (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, and Houston).

In a letter sent to Congressional leaders today outlining their support, the 100 mayors urged swift action to include the proposal in the next Congressional relief package.

“By empowering local leaders to administer flexible relief funds, and by targeting funding to only the smallest of businesses, the Small Business Local Relief Program will provide immediate support to those less likely to benefit from existing programs, including very small, minority-owned, and rural businesses,” the mayors wrote in a letter to House and Senate leadership. “The proposal builds on what is already working.”

“Our bipartisan proposal reaffirms what mayors and local leaders across the country know well - that the best ideas often come from outside Washington, D.C.,” Booker said. “This legislation empowers local leaders on the ground to build on what’s already working, by giving them the resources and flexibility to seed and scale localized relief efforts. I’m grateful for the support of the dozens of mayors who have endorsed the idea. Without bolder federal action, the economic fallout from COVID-19 will extend far beyond the public health emergency - with vacant storefronts and hallowed out communities left in its wake. We cannot let that become the new reality.”

“This bipartisan legislation is about taking the decision making powers out of the hands of Washington D.C. and putting it in the hands of our local communities who know their own needs best,” Daines said. “We need more targeted action that strengthens local response and empowers our local economic development leaders to provide relief for our small and rural businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“The federal government has a responsibility during this unprecedented emergency to help bridge the gap for the businesses on Main Street that fuel our local communities and economy,” Murray, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said. “As Congress moves forward on another round of critical relief legislation, we need to do everything we can to ensure workers and the smallest businesses in Washington state and around the nation are getting the federal assistance they need to withstand this crisis.”

“Small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, many of these small businesses, especially in underserved areas, have been unable to access emergency loans under the existing Paycheck Protection Program,” Congressman Kildee said. “My legislation, which is supported by Republicans and Democrats, would provide direct grants to small businesses and their workers that need it most. By targeting aid through local relief funds instead of banks, we can get quicker, targeted and more direct economic relief to the small businesses on Main Street that need it most, especially in low-income and rural communities,” Congressman Kildee said.

Full text of the letter is available here.

The proposal, which was unveiled last month and formally introduced as legislation in the Senate yesterday, would provide $50 billion to seed and scale local relief efforts emerging in cities and towns across the country, targeted toward businesses with fewer than 20 workers or businesses with fewer than 50 workers located in low-income neighborhoods.

Such localized efforts, which operate outside of banking channels and provide flexible funding, are proving to be a critical lifeline for small businesses in rural areas and urban corridors across the country – but they are massively oversubscribed. In New Jersey, for instance, the state Economic Development Administration’s $5 million small grant program received 10,000 applications within 75 minutes of opening its application portal, with demand quickly exceeding the total availability of about 2,000 grants.

For a summary of the proposal, click here.

Earlier today, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt joined Senator Booker for a video press conference to discuss their endorsement of the plan and how it would help their respective cities.

If you’d like to obtain a recording of that video press conference, please email Kristin_Lynch@booker.senate.gov.

Full list of mayors signing on to the letter is below:

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, CA 

Mayor Ras Baraka, Newark, NJ

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Washington, DC 

Mayor David Holt, Oklahoma City, OK

Mayor Chris Mehl, Bozeman, MT 

Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle, WA 

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago, IL 

Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston, TX 

Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando, FL                                

Mayor Kate Gallego, Phoenix, AZ

Mayor LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans, LA 

Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit, MI

Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia, PA

Mayor Sheldon Neely, Flint, MI

Mayor Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, TX 

Mayor Steve Benjamin, Columbia, SC

Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo, NY

Mayor Nadine Woodward, Spokane, WA 

Mayor Steve Adler, Austin, TX

Mayor Azunnah Amutah, Edgewater Park, NJ 

Mayor David Anderson, Kalamazoo, MI 

Mayor Mark Behnke, Battle Creek, MI 

Mayor Levar Stoney, Richmond, VA

Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City, MO 

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids, MI 

Mayor Noam Bramson, New Rochelle, NY 

Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester, NY

Mayor Ravi Bhallah, Hoboken, NJ

Mayor Tony Vauss, Irvington, NJ

Mayor Michael Venezia, Bloomfield, NJ 

Mayor Luke Bronin, Hartford, CT

Mayor Allen Pomraning, Walla Walla, WA 

Mayor Regina Romero, Tucson, AZ

Mayor Jack Sims, Baltimore, MD

Mayor Melvin Carter, Saint Paul, MN

Mayor Robert Clark, Monroe, MI

Mayor Diane Delaware, Yazoo City, MS

Mayor Derek Dobies, Jackson, MI

Mayor Svante Myrick, Ithaca, NY

Mayor McKinley Price, Newport News, VA 

Mayor Maureen Donker, Midland, MI

Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham, East Point, GA 

Mayor Keith James, West Palm Beach, FL 

Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, OH       

Mayor William Johnson, Holly Hill, SC 

Mayor Floyd Kloc, Saginaw, MI

Mayor Stephen Gawron, Muskegon, MI 

Mayor William Johnson, Holly Hill, SC 

Mayor Walt Maddox, Tuscaloosa, AL 

Mayor Dee Margo, El Paso, TX

Mayor Lauren McLean, Boise, ID

Mayor Wayne Messam, Miramar, FL

Mayor Angela Birney, Redmond, WA

Mayor Malinda Miles, Mount Rainier, MD

Mayor Crystal Dingler, Ocean Shores, WA

Mayor Jim Sorensen, Elma, WA

Mayor Ben Wick, Spokane Valley, WA

Mayor Eulis Willis, Navassa, NC

Mayor Reed Gusciora, Trenton, NJ

Mayor Kathleen Newsham, Bay City, MI

Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Vancouver, WA 

Mayor Marla Keethler, White Salmon, WA

Mayor Norma Hernandez, City of College Place, WA 

Mayor John O'Reilly, Dearborn, MI

Mayor Ted Green, East Orange, NJ

Mayor Matt Pina, Des Moines, WA

Mayor Cassie Franklin, Everett, WA

Mayor Timothy Ragland, Talladega, AL

Mayor Pauline Repp, Port Huron, MI

Mayor Andy Schor, Lansing, MI

Mayor Jill Boudreau, Mount Vernon, WA

Mayor Barb Tolbert, Arlington, WA

Mayor Eugene Grant, Seat Pleasant, MD

Mayor Jeffrey Martin, Hamilton, NJ

Mayor Christopher Bollwage, Elizabeth, NJ

Mayor Frank Scott, Little Rock, AR

Mayor Matt Larson, Snoqualmie, WA

Mayor Linda Newing, Newcastle, WA

Mayor Nicola Smith, Lynnwood, WA

Mayor Kate Dexter, Port Angeles, WA

Mayor Christopher Taylor, Ann Arbor, MI

Mayor Michael Taylor, Sterling Heights, MI 

Mayor Armondo Pavone, Renton, WA

Mayor Amy Ockerlander, Duvall, WA

Mayor Lynne Robinson, Bellevue, WA

Mayor Dr. Larry Wallace, Manor, TX

Mayor Dr. Deirdre Waterman, Pontiac, MI

Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, Baton Rouge, LA 

Mayor Andre Sayegh, Paterson, NJ

Mayor William Wild, Westland, MI

Mayor Jenny Wilson, Salt Lake County, UT 

Mayor Victoria Woodards, Tacoma, WA 

Mayor Frank Moran, Camden, NJ

Mayor Jesse Tweedle, Pleasantville, NJ 

Mayor Hector Lora, Passaic, NJ

Mayor Susan Shin Angulo, Cherry Hill, NJ 

Mayor Jim Ferrell, Federal Way, WA 

Mayor Allan Eckberg, Tukwila, WA

Mayor Nancy Backus, Auburn, WA

Mayor Frank Kuntz, Wenatchee, WA