California has a $100 billion surplus, good news. Instead of paying down some of the massive unfunded liability debt, the governor is going on a spending spree. Unfortunately, he is only spending 1.5% of that on small businesses, who have suffered the most during the pandemic. Most were shut down and had to jump through plenty of hoops that Newsom mandated, while their big box competitors stayed open. Over 300,000 small businesses have requested assistance; many have, or will close permanently.
Meanwhile the governor pledged $12 billion for the state’s estimated 100,000 homeless. That’s eight times the amount spent on small businesses. There are three times as many small businesses needing help, as total homeless population. While the small businesses have been devastated during the pandemic many homeless have gotten “hooked up.” Thousands were given free hotel rooms and in San Francisco, they were brought drugs and alcohol as well as three meals a day.
No one envies the homeless and we all want to see them get back on their feet, but I can’t help but think that our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, are getting the short shrift.