August 25, 2020 | Main Street Advocacy: Continue Your Outreach! |
Dear Main Street America Members,
As you know, Main Street America is seeking support for the Economic Development Administration in the next COVID relief package, including a $100M competitive grant program to support Main Street programs nationwide. While Congress is on recess, discussion for the next COVID relief package continues. It is imperative that we continue outreach to Congress to advocate for Main Street.
Though political conventions currently dominate the headlines, negotiations on the package will likely resume in earnest next week. The Senate is not scheduled to meet in session again until September 8, 2020; the House is not set to be back in session until September 14, 2020. Despite this, a COVID relief package agreement could come at any time, and members of Congress could be called back to vote on an agreed deal with 24-hours’ notice.
With this uncertain timeline, we need all Main Street America members to consider these immediate actions to keep pressure on Congress to include funding for Main Street coordinating programs, technical assistance, and small businesses in the next package:
Find your members of Congress using this form and ask to arrange a phone call with staff about the Main Street America Community Recovery and Revitalization proposal. Prepare with this outreach plan, talking points, and frequently asked questions.
While I’ve had regular interaction with my state legislators, reaching out at the federal level was a bit intimidating. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they made connecting with staff in DC. The phone call was very personable, I felt listened to, and they provided a direct way to follow up. It was great to have made that connection.
– Janna Groharing, Sterling Main Street (Illinois)
Or organize a Zoom call to connect with your Congressional representatives and/or their staff virtually.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been increased engagement with Maine’s federal delegation. We hosted a formal meeting with our Main Street Directors, and it allowed delegation staff to hear from the local level exactly what was happening. Relationships developed and the delegation and the Main Street organizations are now connected.
– Anne Ball, Maine Downtown Center
Invite your representatives for an in-district visit of your Main Street to showcase your ongoing work to respond to the pandemic and create a thriving local economy.
Anytime we have the opportunity to host an elected official offers a wonderful chance to showcase the heart of our community; our historic downtown district. These visits not only provide a firsthand look at how important federal and state funding is to communities of all sizes but also gives us a chance, as Main Street directors, to advocate for their support and help when they return to the state house or Washington DC.
– Travis Toliver, Waverly Chamber Main Street (Iowa)
Send a letter to Congress via the online form – and share with all Main Street stakeholders.
It's really easy. It's designed for people like our businesses and like our board members who don't have a lot of time. Don't be intimidated by it.
– Michael Sothan, Main Street Beatrice (Nebraska)
No matter how you reach out, communicating with Congressional offices will keep our benefit your community and the entire Main Street network. Make sure to report back to our team on your efforts, and always feel encouraged to ask any questions. Thanks for all your continued work to speak up for Main Street!