CLEVELAND (WJW)– Cleveland City Councilman Michael Polensek is urging his colleagues to consider using money set aside for Sherwin-Williams to help small businesses hurting during the coronavirus shutdown.
The city offered Sherwin-Williams incentives to keep the company’s new global headquarters in Cleveland. But Polensek said the company can wait, our small businesses cannot.
“I am greatly concerned by the number of small business owners who are contacting my office describing a horrible picture. Many of them are unable to pay rent and/or their mortgage. They have laid off their workforce and/or are totally shut down. I am hearing the same scenario over and over again. Many are predicting they will not survive this economic carnage they are confronted with and if they do it could take a year or longer to recover, if in fact they can do so at all,” Polensek wrote.
He sent a letter to fellow Cleveland City Council members outlining the plan. The Ward 8 councilman suggests reallocating the funds to provide 5,000 loans of $5,000
“In these difficult times we have to make difficult decisions – and, to give S-W nearly $25 million grant free, in light of what we are facing, is unconscionable,” Polensek said.