A Letter to Our Congressional Delegation

Chamber News

Dear Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, and Congressman Cartwright:

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, we want to express our strong support for the stimulus funding package currently being considered by the bi-partisan committee of the House and Senate.

There has been much talk centered around the job growth and national trends that suggested that the economy is recovering on its own.  But recent (November) jobs numbers show a dramatic cooling in the overall recovery – and what is more these figures and trends clearly do not reflect the realities of how this pandemic is impacting small business. 

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is the largest business association in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Of our 1,400 plus members, the vast majority are truly small businesses, with under 10 employees. Further, a great many operate in sectors that have been most dramatically impacted by COVID-19 – restaurants, taverns, boutique retail, travel, accommodations and service sectors.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently reported that nationally:

  • Nearly three times as many small businesses reported reducing their number of paid employees (12.2%) as reported increasing employment (4.3%).
  • More than four times as many small businesses reported reducing the number of hours worked by paid employees (21.4%) as reported increasing hours (4.6%).
  • Nearly seven times as many small businesses reported decreased revenue (38%) as reported increased revenue (5.8%).

Our Chamber staff has been in constant contact with member and non-member small business owners since March, informing and assisting them with health and safety protocols, as well as federal, state and regional stimulus resources. We’ve also been listening to and voicing their needs and concerns to all relevant authorities. Based on these communications, we implore you to support a meaningful stimulus package for small business.

While we do not embrace all the elements of the proposed legislation, we recognize that compromise is necessary in a political environment. We do want to underscore that we strongly back another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding that may allow businesses a second infusion of forgivable capital. We likewise have seen first-hand the benefits of support for local governments, which have demonstrated the importance of assisting our business community. Absent such federal action, we fear the network of small businesses that make up the foundation of our local economy is at risk of collapse.

We would appreciate your timely response to this request.

Patrick Fricchione, Jr.
Chairman
Bob Durkin
President/CEO