Small and Local Businesses


 

One of the biggest impacts of COVID-19 has been its effect on the business sector. Local businesses are hurting, especially here in Madison. The Madison City Council needs to act swiftly to help preserve small businesses in the Madison area.  Downtown businesses are suffering both from the pandemic and from recent property damage.  It is the belief of this campaign that lives are always more important than property, however, small businesses are the livelihoods of many and the city should work to preserve them. The city took steps recently on September 2nd to provide funds for local businesses during this pandemic. The city has also taken steps to provide priority funding towards businesses owned by minorities. 

I believe that there is still more the city can do to help local businesses and empower the disenfranchised minority business sector. 

If I were to be elected I would lead the city council in establishing legislation based around the CDFI fund. The CDFI is the Community Development Financial Institutions fund and is operated by the US Treasury. The CDFI Fund provides awards to organizations that make credit, capital, and other critical financial services available to disadvantaged businesses and low-income communities throughout the country. In order to receive money from the fund, organizations must prove that they will use the money to help better disenfranchised communities. I believe that the city of Madison should offer a property tax credit to any business or nonprofit that can successfully acquire and use funds from the CDFI to better the Madison community. The city of Madison would also waive initial start-up fees, like property tax and other city fines, on any new venture capital institutions or nonprofits seeking CDFI certification. Local organizations and Banks could use the money to help minority business owners through the pandemic, or start new businesses in disenfranchised communities. With a city tax credit incentive, there’s no reason why any local bank or business wouldn’t try and get approved to help out. 

Iconic Madison businesses are one of the things that make our state capital such a great place to live. As your city councilman, I would work to preserve local venues as a showcase of local Madison businesses, while working to diversify our community. 

Now, none of these proposals are in their final stage. Our campaign is based on the principle of listening first; we acknowledge that on our own we do not have all the answers. Without community collaboration, there is no way that there can be effective and lasting change, and that’s why, in the beginning, stages of this run, our biggest priority is talking to as many people as possible to identify and prioritize the needs of the district that we may not recognize. 

So, if you’re interested in any of these ideas or if you want to help us get to the finish line, reach out to me at reez@reezformadison.com.