“Just yesterday, we learned that North Carolina’s unemployment rate rose again in September, just the latest evidence that this administration’s botched handling of this pandemic is forcing our working men and women to pay the price for their mistakes. More than 44,000 North Carolinians became unemployed in the month of September, and our state’s unemployment rate jumped to more than 7 percent almost eight months after this crisis started.
“Now since he’s coming to Gastonia…let’s take a close look at what Donald Trump has done to help working North Carolinians get through this crisis. He has slashed unemployment benefits to Americans who are out of work, he has sent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to large and foreign owned corporations, and that’s not even the half of it. He has put Social Security and Medicare in jeopardy with his executive order on the payroll tax, and he’s failed to push through badly needed COVID relief funds that the House of Representatives has already passed — money that would support our small businesses and industries that have been crushed by this pandemic.
“You know, hundreds of thousands of working families across the state are grappling with immense financial uncertainty during the greatest public health crisis we’ve seen in a century. But instead of passing legislation that would protect essential workers and support small businesses and industries hammered by this pandemic, Donald Trump has left our working families out to dry.”
State Senator Natasha Marcus
“We need to be clear that the economic toll, particularly across the Greater Charlotte area, has been so severe. I speak with constituents on a regular basis who’ve lost their job or shuttered their small business — through no fault of their own, by the way — because of the impact of this pandemic and because of the federal government’s inability to contain it. North Carolina’s unemployment rate peaked this spring at almost 13% and even now it’s still twice what it was before the pandemic started…
“And I want to reiterate that this is not the fault of our working families or entrepreneurs, this is the fault of the current president and his disastrous handling of this crisis. Donald Trump’s inability to protect North Carolinians from this virus is what has left our economy in tatters. His refusal to take this situation seriously, or work to contain the spread, has forced these shutdowns around the country and working families, like in my district, are paying the price.
“We know that in the second quarter of 2020 alone, the Charlotte region lost more than 156,000 jobs…Just recently more than 900 employees of American Airlines, folks based right here in the Charlotte area, were laid off because Donald Trump refused to negotiate a new federal COVID relief package for industries that have been crushed by this pandemic. He just doesn’t seem to care. This is not what leadership looks like — this is an abdication of his responsibility as president and it is a monumental failure, and it is a failure that my constituents are forced to live through every day.”
Jenny Brule, founder, owner and chef at Davidson Ice House:
“As difficult as it can be, I never anticipated a pandemic, obviously. But also I didn’t anticipate it lasting this long, brutalizing my business…At a financial toll to myself, you know, I am taking on loans, to keep my doors open. Because of the way this pandemic was handled, where is the end? There doesn’t seem to even be a plan…So, my ship is taking on water. I am getting crushed by debt…
“I am lucky because I have so many friends in Charlotte and in the Southeast who own restaurants who’ve had to shut their restaurants. What people may not understand is that when a person shuts their business, they’re still paying — they still have to pay rent until the end of their lease…It’s a lot of pressure and so many people as Senator Marcus said, through no fault of their own, have had to call it quits, to stop the financial bleeding as much as possible….
“Who knows what the future holds, we just don’t. Under the current administration, there’s no plan. There’s no feeling of safety or security, or just hang in there. I feel very much that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would give us that — that sense of security that we really really need. And not just give us that sense, but back it up with action and get us back on track.