Proposals from the candidate address essential workers, business owners, and the coronavirus.
DETROIT, MI — Although Adrienne Bennett has been called a pioneer by major news outlets, she describes herself as an everyday mother and businesswoman.
“In a white, male-dominated industry, there are challenges,” Bennett, CEO of Benkari, LLC, said. “I had to be better, I had to be the best. I have to wear all the hats as an entrepreneur.”
Bennett is the first Black woman to be licensed as a master plumber in the United States. Her company is part of the City of Detroit’s skilled trades employment program, which provides residents with free training to enter the skilled trades workforce.
Even with her accomplishments and successes, she said that it’s difficult to keep her business going amid the coronavirus pandemic. Protections extended to larger businesses, like the PPP, missed smaller ones throughout Michigan.
The unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic extends far beyond public health threats and into the bank accounts of everyday people.
As the positive infection rates and death tolls continue to rise, Michiganders who can find work are hard-pressed to maintain jobs without adequate access to testing and health care. Some workers cannot afford to self-quarantine for up to two weeks as they await slow test results, longer if those results are positive.
The consequences of workforce health in constant limbo can be devastating to businesses like Bennett’s.
Biden’s Proposals Could Benefit Michigan
As presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden moves closer to his November faceoff against President Donald Trump, the candidate has released proposals aimed at repairing the American economy. The moves could benefit businesses like Bennett’s.
His four-point plan for essential workers could be most beneficial for Michigan’s essential workforce, many of whom keep local economies from complete collapse. The people considered “essential” in today’s coronavirus economy are often the same with limited access to sufficient health care.
Under a Biden presidency, the candidate promises access to PPE, child care, and coronavirus testing for essential workers. He also proposes “premium pay” for frontline workers and national workplace health and safety standards.
Another plan for combating the coronavirus could further address these disparities and issues. Biden says he will immediately reinstate the National Security Council biodefense group that was created to fight against world events like the coronavirus pandemic.
The council was dissolved by the Trump Administration in 2018.
Biden’s extensive coronavirus proposal also includes plans for at least ten mobile testing centers in each state; more support for older adults, who have been hit hardest by the pandemic; and the involvement of the Department of Justice in prosecuting businesses that price gouge essential items.
President Trump’s reelection campaign website does not mention what he plans to do for business owners like Bennett, but it does tout the supposed economic successes of his first term like tax reform, which benefits the rich while leaving middle-class wage earners behind over time and changes to the Affordable Care Act, which may result in the law being overturned, leaving millions without needed coverage.
The devastating death toll of the coronavirus, which his administration failed to adequately respond to, soaring unemployment rates, and dismal disapproval ratings are conspicuously missing from the President’s list of accomplishments.
What the White House refuses to acknowledge ends up falling squarely on business owners like Bennett, who said she’s given her all to Benkari and that the work “was not for the weak of heart.”
“I feel that if I hadn’t given my business everything that I have to give, the business wouldn’t be where it is today. We are rooted in the community.”
New proposals from a new administration could improve how Michigan communities’ economies function.