Spearheaded by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and Americans for the Arts, the letter asserts that dedicated recovery funds for the creative economy are essential to getting local small businesses and economies back on their feet. The letter was built on two previous letters of support (May 2020, August 2020) for relief and recovery efforts to help the arts, culture, and the creative sector.
In Michigan, the creative economy is big business and needs federal recovery funding. Before the pandemic, it generated $15.4 billion comprising 2.9% of the gross state product and encompassing 17,394 creative businesses, which employed 122,288 workers. At the height of the pandemic, 53% of creative workers were unemployed in Michigan. Overall, the state’s creative businesses have lost at least $2.4 billion to the pandemic, and 59% of creative workers in Michigan now have no savings with which to jumpstart their own recovery.
The Saginaw Chamber and other signatory chambers recognize that there can be no full recovery without the creative economy and are calling for Congress to support dedicated recovery funding because they know that creative product drives tourism, travel, hospitality, local small business, and social and economic health.
The Saginaw Chamber supports the integration of the following core funding and policy recommendations into the forthcoming American Jobs Plan, which echo the Put Creative Workers to Work policy platform endorsed by over 2,300 creative businesses and creative workers in all 50 states:
- Allocate $14 billion to incentivize local, state, and tribal businesses and governments to put creative workers to work addressing social, cultural, and physical infrastructure needs.
- Allocate $3 billion to spark an American cultural renaissance through creative jobs, fellowships, residencies, and commissions.
- Allocate $1 billion in arts and creativity-based education for recovery to incentivize retention of arts educators and improve the education infrastructure.
- Direct the Federal Reserve to broaden their nonprofit lending facility under the Main Street Lending Program to specifically benefit mid-size nonprofits.