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Small-Business Leaders: Climate Resilience Vital to Build Back Better Plan


Monday, September 27, 2021   

Corrected 9/28/21, 5 p.m. MDT. The damage figure from climate-related disasters is $6 billion, not $4 billion.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Small-business leaders across the U.S. are calling on Congress to support the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan in the anticipated vote this week, and are emphasizing its solutions for climate-change.

Business Forward is a nationwide coalition of business leaders who believe the plan's proposed investments in clean energy and jobs are vital not only for economic growth, but to prevent future economic disasters for small businesses.

Jim Doyle, president of the group, said business leaders are well-suited to answer why they need climate-change solutions.

"Severe weather and extreme temperatures are spiking commodity prices, disrupting supply chains, damaging plants' equipment, and messing with consumer demand for their products," Doyle observed. "So they have very direct knowledge of the price we're paying for climate change now."

Business Forward has launched ads in a dozen U.S. districts to reach swing votes, including New York's 4th Congressional District in East New York and part of Nassau County. The Build Back Better plan proposes investments to modernize the electricity sector, improve air quality and lower residents' energy costs.

Doyle added clean energy also presents an opportunity to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.

"Many states spent tens of billions importing coal, oil and gas to power their economies," Doyle pointed out. "Renewables, solar and wind represent an opportunity to keep that money in state to essentially buy local."

According to Business Forward, New York could create a $39 billion opportunity to buy local energy if they switched to in-state renewables.

The group also found $6 billion in damage from climate-driven disasters have hit New York since Jan. 2020. Doyle argued now is a critical time to make a change.

"The big question people are saying is, 'Can we afford to fix this?'" Doyle remarked. "And we can't afford not to."

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