March 17, 2021/Media, Press

Five Days Five Ways: For Small Businesses & Schools, American Rescue Plan Provides Relief To Keep Doors Open & Safely Return To Classrooms

Just 50 days after taking office, President Biden and Democrats secured a major and consequential victory: successfully passing the American Rescue Plan, a bold and historic legislative package that will provide much-needed relief to millions of working people across the country. This week, we’re showcasing five ways the American Rescue Plan helps North Carolina, and today we’re highlighting relief for small businesses and schools.

The American Rescue Plan will deliver over $3.6 billion to North Carolina schools to provide the resources needed to safely return to in-person instruction. It also provides small businesses the relief they need to keep their doors open and keep employees on the payroll. 

“Our small businesses and schools are the heart of cities and towns across North Carolina,” said NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson. “The American Rescue Plan is a monumental step in ensuring they will be able to safely open, serve their communities, and get our economy back on track — but not a single North Carolina Republican voted for it.” 

Restaurant owners in Asheville are breathing a sigh of relief after the passage of the American Rescue Plan. Hear what they are saying: 

  • Katie Button: “The fact that the Biden administration heard us, I don’t have the words to express how that feels,” she said. “Independent restaurants finally feel seen and heard after a year of screaming that this pandemic has hurt us more than it has any other industry, and it’s fantastic.”
  • William Dissen: “This is a turning of the tides,” he said. “It helps restaurants get properly opened back up and it gives us the insulation we need to get through the back end of this pandemic.”

Last week, Governor Cooper and legislators reached a compromise on the safe return to classrooms. This relief will be critical as schools continue to address the challenges of the past year and need resources to ensure safety is maintained. NC Policy Watch explains that the American Rescue Plan “can be used to pay for the cost of distance learning, safe in-person instruction, caring for the physical and mental health of returning students, and most importantly, aid with learning loss that students have suffered.”

As the effects of the American Rescue Plan are already starting to be felt by North Carolinians, Republicans across the state will be on defense and forced to explain why they opposed billions of dollars in relief for their state and direct support for their constituents.