On behalf of the Main Street Advocacy Team at the National Main Street Center, PDC is sharing this recent update.

With a fast-evolving news cycle, this information is from the national perspective regarding COVID-relief legislation and the Main Street funding proposal. Over the past week, the possibility of a fifth COVID-relief package coming together seemed within reach as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi continued their negotiations. However, the announcement that the President has suspended negotiations with Speaker Pelosi has made it unlikely that legislation will advance in the Senate before the November elections.

Last week, the House passed a revised $2.2 trillion HEROES Act, aiming to narrow the gap between House and Senate proposals, but several key provisions remain unresolved. These include business liability protections and the amount of funding for states and localities. Support for Main Street funding depends largely on how the broader issue of state and local funding is resolved.

At this point, it’s likely that once an agreement is reached on the overall size of the next COVID-relief package, Main Street advocates will have a relatively short amount of time to re-engage with their legislators to support Main Street funding. That said, continue to check-in with Main Street America for advocacy alerts over the next few weeks and particularly after the election to make sure our message is delivered at the right time. PDC will continue to share updates as well. If a deal begins to come together prior to November 3, we will make every attempt to let you know!

In the meantime, an important way for Main Street advocates to take action is to reach out to member offices and request a site visit to your community. Persistence is key and there is never an inopportune time to host a member of Congress. Whether that happens before the election, after the election, or at the start of the next legislative session in January — it is always helpful for Members to understand the important role Main Street programs have in supporting our nation’s economic recovery. This “how-to” sheet is a good reference.

If you haven't already done so, please read the Main Street article featured in the Wall Street Journal this last weekend about the role Main Street Emporia has played both before and during the pandemic to create and maintain a vibrant downtown in Emporia, Kansas. While focused on Emporia, the story reflects the important role all Main Street programs play in so many of our communities. We encourage you to share this article especially with Congressional offices that you have already spoken to about the continuing need for support to Main Street communities.

Finally, thank you again for the work you have done throughout the summer and fall in support of the Main Street Community Recovery and Revitalization proposal. Your engagement is critical to the success in expanding the reach of Main Street and creating wide-spread interest for our proposal.