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Innovation Ohio · June 25, 2021

Mayors, Small Business Leader Discuss the American Rescue Plan and Local Aid

Yesterday, Desiree Tims, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio, hosted three Ohio mayors and the Co-Chair of Small Business For America’s Future for a virtual “Local Aid Through the American Rescue Plan” panel.

Mayors Meghan George (Lakewood)Frank Whitfield (Elyria), and Steve Patterson (Athens) discussed how they are using local aid through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to support their communities.

The American Rescue Plan ensures that Ohio’s state and local governments can continue to fund critical public services. It also provides flexible funds that allow state and local leaders to decide how to best continue providing relief — especially to our small businesses,” said Desiree Tims.

The resources in the American Rescue Plan are giving us a once in a generation opportunity to make catalytic investments in our cities and small businesses,” said Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield.

Anne Zimmerman — founder and owner of Zimmerman & Co CPAs Inc. and Co-Chair of Small Business for America’s Future — also joined the panel to discuss local aid through a small business lens. SBAF co-sponsored the panel with Innovation Ohio.

“This aid is incredibly important for our community. 60% of small business owners say that relief from the American Rescue Plan will be used primarily to keep their workers on the job. Strong small businesses create a strong economy for all of Ohio,” said Anne Zimmerman.

The American Rescue Plan is sending Ohio’s state and local governments a total of $12 billion. $5.4 billion goes to the state. Another $6.6 billion goes directly to local cities, counties, townships, and municipalities to maintain critical COVID relief programs and avoid budget cuts.

“There are several key provisions that the American Rescue Plan is providing — including mitigating negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic and helping us support investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure,” said Lakewood Mayor Meghan George. Every single household and every single business is going to benefit from the American Rescue Plan here in our community.”

“COVID had a significant impact on small businesses in college communities like Athens. They built their livelihoods around having students in the uptown area. I can’t imagine how much more of a negative, long-term impact we would have experienced if the American Rescue Plan hadn’t passed,” said Athens Mayor Steve Patterson. 

The full panel can be viewed online here.

Tagged in these Policy Areas: coronavirus