SHAUN KING: How the Government Has Failed Small Businesses

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The American government has abandoned its people in multiple capacities.

I understand that to be a politician or leader of any kind during the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most unprecedented times in history, is a huge challenge. There is no rulebook with all the right answers for every problem this virus has caused. No one expects perfection.

What we do expect is a genuine effort by both local and federal governments to support the people they swore to serve. Instead, as virus infections and deaths continue to surge –– literally breaking records from what we thought would be the height of the pandemic in March –– governments have seemingly given up on supplying aid.

No, I don’t just mean Donald Trump and his administration.

As much harm as this man has done to the United States, and as gross as his mishandling of the pandemic was and continues to be, the blame does not rest solely on him. The first step in holding leaders accountable is recognizing everyone who needs to be held accountable.

Mayors, governors and local elected officials across the country all have the power to help or hurt the communities they serve. They must also be brought to task.

A second wave of cases is hitting while recovery from the first wave isn’t even completed. Some places are going under a second wave of quarantine orders, while many are just emerging from the first. Businesses are being shut down in droves, sending those that barely survived the shut down into a panic.

Nearly 100,000 businesses have shut down already due to COVID related financial struggles, with Black-owned businesses shutting down at nearly twice the rate compared to those owned by non-Black people.

The United States has done such a horrible job supporting its people financially. Many feel they have no choice but to defy the quarantine and social distance policies meant to keep them safe.

During this past week, protests have taken place in Staten Island against the arrest of a local bar owner who was violating mandated social distancing policies by illegally allowing customers to eat and drink inside. He, like many small restaurant owners, understood that as temperatures drop, so will the number of people willing to eat at the outdoor tables that comply with COVID guidelines.

Many of the people in Staten Island feel the arrest is wrong, and in many ways, they are absolutely right.

What is wrong is the way the American government has allowed its people to resort to exposing themselves and others to a deadly virus rather than providing them with the financial resources to maintain their livelihood.

On today’s episode of The Breakdown, Shaun unpacks this complicated issue and what demands we must make of the government moving forward.