Mayors call for more federal aid to avoid cuts to essential services, jobs

Local News

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Mayors across the country are lobbying Congress to approve federal aid for their governments as they try to recover the economy from the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

Across the Miami Valley, small businesses have been able to benefit from federal CARES Act funding, but agree that more support is needed.

“We were closed for about a month and a half so that meant no income was coming in at all and, of course, the expenses continue to come in,” said Rachelle Spencer, co-owner of Dress for a Day dress boutique.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley agrees.

“If we do not get federal help we have very difficult no-win choices to make to cut local services, particularly our police and fire services,” Whaley said.

On a call with several bipartisan mayors from Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Mayor Whaley discussed the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the need for action on the next economic aid package.

“The president and Congress say that they want their economy to recover and they value these jobs they can do something about it by providing federal aid,” she said.

She said medium and small cities were left behind in the CARES Act because of resident population eligibility, leaving them with harsh financial realities and challenges. If no action is taken she says direct city services that save people’s lives will take a hit.

Spencer said while they’ve reopened a full economic recovery is a long road ahead.

“The damage that’s been done has been pretty substantial and we’re slowly recovering but still need that support.”

The mayors are asking lawmakers in Washington to provide direct, flexible emergency assistance to cities of all sizes in the recovery bill that is currently being negotiated.

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