Corrine Hendrickson, owner and operator of Corrine’s Little Explorers Family Child Care in rural New Glarus, WI, recently had the opportunity to testify before the House Small Business Committee. As a member of Main Street Alliance for two years, Hendrickson shared her story of how she was able to achieve her American Dream and provide for her employees by utilizing federal rescue fund dollars.

Federal rescue funds like the American Rescue Plan Act, Paycheck Protection Program, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans helped thousands of small businesses make it through the COVID pandemic and continue to support small businesses today. In the last two years, we’ve also seen a record number of Black and Brown small businesses emerge. Entrepreneurs are using this funding to increase wages for employees, offer paid leave, and invest in upgrades to be competitive in 2023.

Hendrickson, during her testimony, explained how access to federal rescue funds allowed her to hire a substitute last year at an increased wage of $3 an hour plus a monthly bonus of $250. This enabled her to appear before the committee without closing down her business or forcing parents who utilize her services out of work.

“The only reason I can be here today is that I was able to hire a couple of substitutes last year utilizing federal rescue fund dollars,” said Hendrickson. “This allows me to attend appointments, take classes, and appear before you today without closing my business, subsequently allowing parents to work.”

Hendrickson highlighted the importance of small businesses like hers being able to access these kinds of resources so they can continue operating and providing essential services while also ensuring that their employees are fairly compensated. She hopes that more people will be given the same opportunity she had so they can pursue their own version of the American Dream.

Through stories like hers, it’s evident that access to resources such as federal rescue funds can make a huge difference in helping small businesses succeed and thrive. With more support from legislators, we could see even more success stories like this one in the future.

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