As we continue to break down and understand the approved federal relief package, David Trust, CEO, is urging Congress not to stop there. The Small Business Administration has pledged to make monies available for small business loans, but we fear that a large portion of the creative community may be overlooked in the process of considering which industries should be helped by the federal government. Below is a letter that was sent to Senator Crapo and Senator Rubio, who both serve as chairpersons for two committees that make up the “Task Force” for Phase 3 as well as ranking members Sherrod Brown and Ben Cardin.
Letter sent March 19, 2020 -
The Honorable Mike Crapo – Chairman, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
The Honorable Sherrod Brown – Ranking Member, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
The Honorable Marco Rubio – Chairman, Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
The Honorable Ben Cardin – Ranking Member, Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
It is with great concern that I write to you on behalf of over 30,000 professional photographers from around the country who have been detrimentally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These small business owners epitomize what it means to harvest the fruits of your own labor – the American dream.
Thousands of creators’ businesses are threatened with closure and bankruptcy due to the cancellation of events and a halt in the service-based economy. With the average salary of a professional photographer being $34,000 a year, they don’t have the luxury of putting their business on hold, nor can they keep their doors open due to shelter-in-place mandates. These realities are aggravated by the timing of the crisis, which falls at the end of the school year, amounting to dramatic losses of income for thousands upon thousands of professional photographers.
Our members have already felt the negative economic effects fearing that they will not be able to schedule events for months; these businesses cannot afford to remain in a holding pattern until this pandemic subsides, action is needed swiftly and without delay.
We support efforts to ensure small business liquidity and commend the actions already taken to provide for paid sick and family leave in addition to providing nutritional assistance for families. However, further measures must be taken to prevent the closure of thousands of small businesses and economic recession. The Small Business Administration has pledged to make money available for small business loans but we fear that a large portion of the creative community will be overlooked in the process of considering what industries should be helped by the federal government.
We thank you for leading this effort and initiative and stand ready to work with you to create measures that will protect creators against the coming of the storm.
Chief Executive Officer