YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many small businesses are hurting because of Covid-19. Congressman Tim Ryan talked about a plan to help business owners Friday.
“I want these bonds to go directly to the small businesses in the United States. I want them to be cash infusions, not loans. A lot of these businesses don’t want loans, they need an influx of cash,” said Ryan.
He says unique times call for unique ideas.
On Friday, at V2 in downtown Youngstown, Ryan announced a proposal to issue war bonds to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
These are emergency bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury Department for people to invest in.
“Everyone’s going to be a little bit short now, but it’s an opportunity to make an investment, to make interest on your investment, and also know that money is being directed to the small businesses in your community,” said Ryan.
At this point, Ryan is still working out specifics with the Department of Treasury.
There’s no timeline yet on how quickly something like this could happen.
He’s hoping it can get done quickly.
“Definitely speed is going to be the most important thing for us.” said restaurant owner Christian Rinehart.
Rinehart owns restaurants in Youngstown and Boardman. He’s been cashing in on personal investments to make sure his remaining staff gets paid on time.
Instant cash would make it so he could stay afloat.
Rinehart says he’s expecting the effects of the virus to last long after things get back to normal.
“Your spending habits are going to change because all these people are going to be out of work. They’re not going to have money to spend on a nice dinner and drinks. They’re going to be focused on just getting their bills paid back up,” Rinehart said.
Ryan says unemployment rates are skyrocketing locally and across the country.
“The war bond idea, it’s been around. I’m having conversations with a lot of people who were in the Obama administration during the financial situation they dealt with and this was one aspect of it,” Ryan said.
He isn’t sure if it has to go through Congress, but Ryan believes the U.S. Treasury Department can do it directly.
If they can’t, he plans to introduce legislation.