Feb 10, 2021 - Axios Events

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: More help for women and Black-owned businesses hurt by pandemic is needed

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Axios Events

The government should provide more help to Black and minority-owned businesses suffering during the pandemic, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said at an Axios event on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Klobuchar said small communities have been "hit hard" during the pandemic, and women and minority-owned businesses were late to receive financial recovery aid.

  • As Axios' Naomi Shavin wrote in May, structural barriers and a lack of "cash buffers" during the first round of PPP loans made surviving a pandemic particularly difficult for black and minority-owned businesses.

What she's saying: "And we know who's been hit hard by this pandemic, whether it's because they're essential workers, whether it's because they're laid off, whether it's because of the death rate and where you've seen these higher mortality rates with the minority communities or whether it's where the aid has gone."

Klobuchar said she's pushing to include a venture capital proposal that would encourage more women and minority entrepreneurship in the next relief plan.

"No one is better off if we have a whole group in our society who's been hurt more by this pandemic than others," she said.

Of note: Klobuchar also said she sees a path to passing the $15 minimum wage legislation through reconciliation in the upcoming COVID bill.

  • "You've had a lot of these minimum wage increases passed in jurisdictions across the country and not just in blue states," she said.

Watch the full event here.

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