Press Releases

DelBene Introduces Bill to Help Small Businesses in Point Roberts Build Back from COVID-19

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) introduced the Point Roberts Small Business Fairness Act to help struggling small businesses in Point Roberts, Washington keep the lights on and recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Point Roberts is an exclave community in Whatcom County situated at the southern point of the Tsawwassen peninsula and only connected by land to Canada. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the community has been uniquely cut off and isolated due to the Canada-U.S. border closure. The economy in Point Roberts is heavily reliant on tourism and seasonal travel, which has all but dried up during the public health crisis.

The legislation directs the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide forgivable loans to small businesses in exclave communities like Point Roberts. Qualifying businesses would be able to apply for fully forgivable loans worth up to 75% of their fiscal year 2019 revenue.

“While the COVID-19 economic crisis has impacted nearly every aspect of our economy, nowhere has the pandemic been more disruptive than in Point Roberts and communities along the Canada-U.S. border. This bill will support small businesses in exclaves like Point Roberts that are heavily reliant on tourism that has been almost totally wiped out for over a year now,” said DelBene. “We need targeted solutions to help isolated communities like Point Roberts recover from the pandemic or they won’t be recognizable in a few years.”

“The Point Roberts business community is grateful for Congresswoman DelBene introducing the Point Roberts Small Business Fairness Act. Our geography isolation has created unique hardships for our businesses and citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brian Calder, President of the Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate the insights and willingness to work with our business community to introduce appropriate legislation to address the plight of Point Roberts in these difficult economic times.”

DelBene is also pushing President Biden to work with the Canadian government to safely reopen the Canada-U.S. Border.

The text of the legislation can be found here.