Kerry Renews Fight to Assist Small Businesses Hurt by Drought

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), lead Democrat on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, yesterday re-introduced the Small Business Drought Relief Act to provide emergency aid to non-farm-related small businesses suffering economically from the severe drought conditions throughout the nation. The small businesses assisted by this legislation are struggling businesses that have been denied access to disaster loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

“Farmers and ranchers are not the only small business owners whose livelihoods are at risk when a drought hits their communities,” Kerry said. “The impact can be just as devastating to rafting businesses, marinas, and bait and tackle shops. Sadly, these small-businesses owners cannot get help through the SBA’s disaster loan program because of something taxpayers hate about government — bureaucracy.”

The SBA does not treat all drought victims the same. The Agency only helps those small businesses whose income is tied to farming and agriculture. The Small Business Drought Relief Act will close this loophole, giving all small businesses hurt by drought access to low-interest loans through the SBA. The loans will be for business-related purposes, including for paying bills and making payroll until business returns to normal.

Currently there are 19 states suffering from severe to extreme drought. Because many small businesses across the country continue to face financial hardships caused by factors beyond their control, Kerry has again called for immediate consideration of the Small Business Drought Relief Act to prevent further economic strain.

The legislation has previously received widespread bipartisan support in Congress and among Governors and small businesses. During the 108th Congress, the Small Business Drought Relief Act (S.318) had 19 Republican and Democratic cosponsors and passed the Senate unanimously. In the 107th Congress, Kerry’s legislation (S.2734) had 25 Republican and Democratic cosponsors and passed the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

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12 Responses to Kerry Renews Fight to Assist Small Businesses Hurt by Drought

  1. kj says:

    Without the dedicated efforts of a group of citizens who pushed through a lake/reservoir/water supply ten years ago, this town itself would have run out of water last year, as the local river had run dry before. (We were in severe drought conditions for several years, but are out of it now, thankfully.) The businesses affected would have included almost everyone with a business in town.

    Also, in some counties in the country, this one included, still don’t have running water. People truck water in just to fill their wells for a day or two.

    It’s just common sense to include, and not exclude, when it comes to basics like relief for things like drought, that affect everyone, one way or another.

  2. battlebob says:

    This is a fabulous piece of legislation. The west is in the middle of a long-term drought and there should be provisions for small business who were destroyed by the drought to transfer their business skill to other businesses.
    The midwest and south are also suffering.

    It will cost a few bucks but it is cheaper then destroying families because of poverty.

  3. Ron Chusid says:

    From C-SPAN’s schedule for tonight (Eastern time):

    Sen. Democratic Hearing on Protecting Covert Agent’s Identity (8pm)

  4. Battlebob

    With this heat wave and climate change I fear we will see more drought. I read that Europe has been hit hard by drought too.

    The Bush administration does not get that there will be no one to do their menial jobs if people start dropping like flies due to low finances, heat and drought!

  5. Teresa says:

    What an angel.

    Yes. I’m in Colorado and it’s hot and our recent drought will probably return. Water is a huge issue out here and the West is turning Democratic, as Colorado already has. I have a feeling that in a little time, people are going to be on their knees in praise of Kerry’s work on the behalf of small businesspeople.

  6. Teresa

    LOL! “people are going to be on their knees in praise of Kerry’s work on the behalf of small businesspeople.”

    I did that a year ago when I got a microloan for my biz. Never would have happened if JK did not push that program to the hilt.

  7. Nick says:

    Teresa
    I’m optimistic about Colorado, I know Dems picked up a US House US Senate and won control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time since at least the 1970s. On hte presidential level, it seems to me (tell me if I’m wrong) that Colorado has shifted from being a safe GOP state to a swing state (albeit one with GOP leanings).
    Two questions:
    1. Why the shift towards away from the GOP in Colorado?
    2. Why did Kerry lose Colorado 52%-47%? Any particular issues? Problems among rural voters perhaps?

  8. Teresa says:

    There are a lot of independents here, Nick. The state went for Clinton the last time he ran. It is not a safe Gop state now. Some people attribute the change in demographics to the influx of Hispanics, but I’m sure it’s more than that. Denver and some of the other cities and towns are extremely liberal and the populations are growing. I came here about 27 yeras ago and Denver has changed dramatically. We have a fascinating new age type of mayor who isn’t even a politician. He’s a scientist and highly progressive. And very well liked. I believe this type of thinking is spreading.

    We still have the rural ranch people and the Air Force Academy, but the conservative stronghold here is definitely a thing of the past. The takeover of the whole legislature was dramatic and exciting.

    I’m not sure about Kerry. Maybe he was perceived as an East Coast liberal because he was so unknown and couldn’t really catch up with enough campaigning. They didn’y get a chance to warm up to him. And I think many people were afraid and falling back on the familiar. It could just be a matter of perception because the people here are smart by and large and diligent about protecting their interests. My friend who has rightie friends here says they now regret the choice.

  9. Nick says:

    Teresa\

    Very interesting. One thing I would add is that Kerry actually got a greater number and percentage of the popular vote (47%) than Clinton ever got, even when he won it in 1992. In fact Kerry’s popular vote percent total is the highest for Democrats since LBJ in 1964.
    Were there any egregious mistakes the Kerry folks made in Colorado to put it in Bush’s column? Or did a state still recovering from its history of being a safe GOP state, vote GOP to support the wartime “leader?” Sort of like an former alcoholic that go back to the familiar bottle in response to a very stressful situation. I know 2008 is a long way off, but why might Kerry be able to win the state in 2008?

  10. Nick says:

    Teresa,

    To clarify let me give an example of “egregious mistake”: Its 1988 and Maryland is a Democratic state, but meanwhile violent crime is rising in the state and nationally.
    Willie Horton, a black man convicted for committing a violent crime, on a weekend furlogh from a Massachusetts prision, makes his way to Maryland where he rapes and kills a white woman. The Dukakis people never offer up an explanation of why this is not Dukakis’ fault, and never really tackle the Horton charges. They assume Maryland is in their column. By the time they realized MD was slipping away, it was too late to make up the lost ground and MD votes (narrowly) for Bush Sr., the last time MD votes GOP for president.
    ANything like this in Colorado, or is there anything the Dems (or Kerry) could’ve done differently?

  11. Teresa says:

    Nick,

    There are always things that could have been done differently, and we are certainly in the learning process coming from such a Republican history. I think it’s time, consolidation, and confidence as we see the democrats retain power and do good for the state. There just wasn’t enough time in the last election, but if Kerry runs next time, I think there is a good chance of winning Colorado. The campaign probably gauged it accurately when they saw the possibility of taking Co., but didn’t think it would happen this time. I think the state will take its cue from the national campaign next time as things will be different and a Kerry campaign I think will be savvy and fully aware of the Co. potential. The Democrats in Congress now will give an added boost. So far, the state seems satisfied with the change, and Tancredo, the crazy wingnut is ruining things for himself now.
    So as we go into ’08, I think there should be heavy fundraising and attention to the voters here. They are so reasonable and open minded by nature. It’s not really fanaticism that drives most of them. It’s their business concerns. And of course, traditions in the families, which, as I said, are beginning to unravel. One of my friends right wing friends said her staunch Bush supporting father will no longer allow his name to be spoken in the house. He seems like a strong man so I’d bet he is influencing others. I’d count on Colorado.

  12. Nick says:

    Teresa,

    I’ve never been to Colorado, but I was aware of Colorado’s voting history before 2004, and that Democratic candidates for president had rarely gotten 45% of the vote in Colorado, let alone the 47% that Kerry got. With all due respect, if anyone had told me during 2001-2003 that Colorado was going to be a swing state in 2004, I would have had difficulty not laughing. That it would be so close that Bush would have to campaign there less than a week before election day, I’d have been totally flabbergasted. Any GOP candidate in Colorado in the last week? Prior to 2004, that would’ve been like Kerry (or any Democrat) having to visit Maryland the week before election day. So I can see your reasons for optimism.